Letters to the Editor

New Terminology from the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel


Am Fam Physician. 2017 Jun 15;95(12):757.

Original Article: Common Questions About Pressure Ulcers

Issue Date: November 15, 2015

See additional reader comments at: https://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/1115/p888.html

to the editor: In April 2016, the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) announced terminology updates.1 A summary of the updates are as follows:

  • Skin damage that occurs as the result of pressure should be referred to as pressure injury rather than pressure ulcer, because skin damaged from pressure can be intact or ulcerated. This change in terminology also applies to the staging classification system.

  • The staging system for pressure injuries now uses Arabic numbers rather than Roman numerals.

  • Suspected deep-tissue injury has been renamed deep-tissue pressure injury.

Changes to the existing International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision terminology are anticipated as a result of the updated NPUAP terminology. Additionally, the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators will be incorporating the updated terminology in their quality-reporting documents. Visit the NPUAP website at http://www.npuap.org for more information about these changes.1

Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations.


1. National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel. National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) announces a change in terminology from pressure ulcer to pressure injury and updates the stages of pressure injury. https://www.npuap.org/national-pressure-ulcer-advisory-panel-npuap-announces-a-change-in-terminology-from-pressure-ulcer-to-pressure-injury-and-updates-the-stages-of-pressure-injury/. Accessed November 29, 2016.

editor's note: Table 1 and portions of the article have been updated to reflect these new classifications from the NPUAP.


Send letters to afplet@aafp.org, or 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy., Leawood, KS 66211-2680. Include your complete address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Letters should be fewer than 400 words and limited to six references, one table or figure, and three authors.

Letters submitted for publication in AFP must not be submitted to any other publication. Possible conflicts of interest must be disclosed at time of submission. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting the AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. The editors may edit letters to meet style and space requirements.

This series is coordinated by Kenny Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online.



Copyright © 2017 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact afpserv@aafp.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions


Jan 15, 2021

Access the latest issue of American Family Physician

Read the Issue

Email Alerts

Don't miss a single issue. Sign up for the free AFP email table of contents.

Sign Up Now

Navigate this Article