DecubICUs: A Multicentre International One-Day Prevalence Study on Pressure Injuries in Intensive Care Units


Update posted on 2 March 2022: Accepted for publication in the International Journal of Nursing Studies (NS-D-21-02107R2): Epidemiology and Outcome of Pressure Injuries in Critically Ill Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease A propensity score adjusted analysis
national Journal of Nursing Studies        

Update posted on 9 October 2020: The first article of the DecubICUs project is now online in Intensive Care Medicine.  it is published  in open access


DecubICUs is a Multicentre International One-Day Prevalence Study on Pressure Injuries in Intensive Care Units.

The objective of this study was to provide an up-to-date, global picture of the extent and patterns of pressure injuries in ICUs. Point prevalence studies are only of value when performed on a vast scale. To sample a representative cohort, we intend to recruit about 1200 ICUs with all continents covered and as many countries as possible within each continent.

The data collection date was 15 May 2018.

What data is required?
Data to be recorded include patient demographics, data on severity of underlying disease and acute illness, organ failure, pressure injuries, major risk factors for pressure injuries, and measures taken to prevent pressure injuries.

  • Therapeutic intervention
    The study is purely observational in nature; no interventions are planned.
  • Study population
    Inclusion criteria: All adult patients (>18 years of age)
    Exclusion criteria: There are no exclusion criteria. All patients should be included. Patients with severe clinical conditions not allowing safe pressure injury identification should not be evaluated for the respective risk zones. If it is known that the patient has a pressure injury at the body sites that cannot be safely evaluated, the stage of the pressure injury should be recorded as previously known.
  • Duration
    1-day point-prevalence study with follow-up for survival at 84 days (7 August 2018) or at the latest date of the hospital stay if discharged at an earlier stage.

Do I need IRB approval?
Centres that participated had to obtain approval of the local ethics committee or review board. In the UK, it is a service evaluation that does not require ethical approval, consent and so on.

How is the data that is collected managed?
All data is annonymised and cannot be linked to individual subjects. The data is stored securely and all procedures regarding data management will comply with EU directive on data protection 95/46/EC.

Who owns and can access the collected data?
Each site investigator is responsible for his own data and may request an export of this data after the database is locked. The request should be addressed to the Principal Investigator.

Is there any financial compensation?
No. Participation in the trial was completely voluntary.

What about authorship?
Results from the trial will be published by the DecubICUs nominated writing Committee. All National Coordinators (NC) will have their efforts recognised by being listed in the paper. Due to the potential high number of centres that we hope will include patients, we have to limit to two names of local collaborators (the lead investigator and the co-investigator). Along with the national coordinators, they will be acknowledged as collaborators in the authorship of the paper and as such, listed in Pubmed.

Financial support
The project received a €25,000 grant from ESICM and a research grant from the Flemish Society for Critical Care Nurses (€10,000).

Any further Questions?
If you have additional questions, please contact your National Coordinator or

Educative Module
The aim of this educative module was to prepare data collectors for adequately staging pressure injuries on the study day. It is important that data collectors of each participating center study this module prior to the study day in order to obtain data that are of good quality.

  • Access the educative module on the staging of pressure ulcers here


For more information, please contact or the principal investigators Stijn Blot ( and Sonia Labeau (