Article 2022 Jan 18

What complications are associated with pressure injuries?

Major complications of pressure injuries include:


Life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection. If not recognized early and managed promptly, it can lead to septic shock, multiple organ failure and death. It is most frequently a serious complication of infection, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where it represents a major cause of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. To learn more about sepsis, visit Sepsis (


Common, potentially serious bacterial skin infection where the affected skin appears swollen and red and is typically painful and warm to the touch. Cellulitis usually affects the skin on the lower legs, but it can occur in the face, arms and other areas. It occurs when a crack or break in your skin allows bacteria to enter. Left untreated, the infection can spread to your lymph nodes and bloodstream and rapidly become life-threatening. To learn more about cellulitis, visit Cellulitis - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic


Inflammation or swelling of bone tissue that is usually the result of an infection. Bone infection may occur for many different reasons and can affect children or adults. Osteomyelitis may occur as a result of a bacterial bloodstream infection or from a nearby infection due to a traumatic injury, frequent medication injections, a surgical procedure or use of a prosthetic device. To learn more about osteomyelitis, visit Osteomyelitis | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Septic arthritis

Painful infection in a joint that can come from germs that travel through your bloodstream from another part of your body. Septic arthritis can also occur when a penetrating injury, such as an animal bite or trauma, delivers germs directly into the joint. To learn more about septic arthritis, visit Septic arthritis - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

Sinus tract abscesses

Narrow opening or passageway extending from a wound underneath the skin in any direction through soft tissue and results in dead space with potential for abscess formation. Also referred to as a tracking wound, these differ from undermining in that they extend in one direction, whereas undermining is destruction of the underlying tissue surrounding the wound margins. To learn more about sinus tract abscesses, visit Tunneling Wounds or Sinus Tracts | WoundSource


infection caused by bacteria that enter the bloodstream and settle in the heart lining, a heart valve or a blood vessel. To learn more about endocarditis, visit Infective Endocarditis | American Heart Association


disease caused by an inflammation of the meninges. These are the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. The inflammation is usually caused by infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. To learn more about meningitis, visit Meningitis | Johns Hopkins Medicine