The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP), the leading voice on pressure ulcer standards, recently released new labels for pressure damaged soft tissue. The new labels replace the well known term of “pressure ulcer” with that of “pressure injury.” This change was done in an effort to create a labeling system that is more inclusive of all 6 stages (i.e., stage 1 as intact skin).
The change in terminology to pressure injury raises potential issues for attorneys and insurers. As a preliminary matter, the use of the word “injury” in documentation typically carries negative implications. Thus, it is possible this will increase the number of claims and lawsuits. The term “injury” also raises concerns insofar as a core element of a negligence action is that an injury occurred. If you have any questions regarding the new NPUAP guidelines, please feel free to contact Alexis Lumell at Alexis.Lumell@arandpartners.com or 312-673-7816.