NPUAP Adopts “Pressure Injury” Language

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel has announced it will use the term “pressure injury” in place of “pressure ulcer” going forward.

In its April 13 announcement, the NPUAP said, “The change in terminology more accurately describes pressure injuries to both intact and ulcerated skin.” The organization added that the new “pressure injury” language would eliminate the confusion that has sometimes resulted from Stage 1 injuries and Deep Tissue Injuries also being referred to as pressure ulcers, though the skin is intact in those situations.

The NPUAP also updated definitions of its pressure injury stages, and presented the new details during its April 8-9 Staging Consensus Conference in Chicago. The brief definitions of each stage are as follows:

-- Stage 1 Pressure Injury: Non-blanchable erythema of intact skin.

-- Stage 2 Pressure Injury: Partial-thickness skin loss with exposed dermis.

-- Stage 3 Pressure Injury: Full-thickness skin loss.

-- Stage 4 Pressure Injury: Full-thickness skin and tissue loss.

-- Unstageable Pressure Injury: Obscured full-thickness skin and tissue loss.

-- Deep Tissue Pressure Injury: Persistent non-blanchable deep red, maroon or purple discoloration.

The NPUAP describes itself as a “multidisciplinary group of experts in pressure injury” and “serves as the authoritative voice for improved patient outcomes in pressure injury prevention and treatment through public policy, education and research.”

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

Rolling Dynamics, Rolling Resistance &  Optimizing Wheeled Prosthetics