Pressure ulcers are also called bed sores, decubitus ulcers or simply decubitus. The word dekubitus is derived from the latin word dekumbere - to lie flat. Strictly speaking the term "decubitus" should be reserved to pressure damage that occurs when someone is lying down. Some people use the term for all types of pressure damage and this is actually incorrect for someone who ended up with a pressure ulcer from sitting in a wheelchair. We at WoundsAfrica are not that strict about mixing these terms up - that is not the important issue here. The important thing is to prevent pressure ulcers and to detect them early and set into motion the right treatment as quickly as possible.
Note that we prefer to talk about pressury injury rather than pressure ulcer. This is as to include also the pressure damage that occurs before the skin is broken. Unfortunately pressure injury at its earliset stages is often not recognized by health care providers.
Pressure injuries are sadly a very common condition. At some health institutions ( old peoples homes/ hospital wards) the incidence can be between 10-20% even in western countries. Pressure injuries are such a problem globally that we mark this with an international pressure ulcer prevention day on every third thursday in november.