Cost of treating pressure ulcers for veterans with spinal cord injury

Kevin T. Stroupe, Larry Manheim, Charlesnika T. Evans, Marylou Guihan, Chester Ho, Keran Li, Diane Cowper-Ripley, Timothy P. Hogan, Justin R. St. Andre, Zhiping Huo, Bridget M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Veterans comprise almost 17% of the 250,000 persons with spinal cord injury/disorder (SCI/D) in the United States. Pressure ulcers are common complications of SCI/D. We compared annual health care utilization and costs between veterans with and without pressure ulcers in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Veterans with pressure ulcers had more total inpatient days on average (61.00 vs 9.19;P < .001) and higher total health care costs ($100,935 vs $27,914;P < .001) due primarily to higher inpatient costs ($91,341 vs $13,754;P < .05). Our results highlight the need to identify patients at risk for pressure ulcers who could benefit from targeted skin care management interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-73
Number of pages12
JournalTopics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • health care cost
  • hospitalization
  • pressure ulcer
  • spinal cord injury/disorder
  • veteran

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology


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