Staff Ed: Common Sites for Pressure Ulcers

Staff Ed: Common Sites for Pressure Injuries

March 14, 2018

Pressure Injuries: Common Sites

Bony prominences are the areas of bone that are close to the skin's surface. These areas are most susceptible to pressure injuries because they have the least amount of cushioning. Which pressure points are vulnerable for a particular patient depend on the position in which most of that patient’s time is spent. Also check for pressure injuries on the skin over implanted medical devices, such as pacemakers.

Pressure points to remember

Common sites of pressure ulcers when lying on the back include the heel, sacrum, elbow, shoulder, and the back of head.

On the back

Common sites of pressure ulcers when sitting include the shoulder blade, the buttocks, the ball of the foot and the heel.


When lying on the side, pressure ulcers can occur on the ankle, knee, hip, shoulder or ear.

On the side


March 14, 2018


Hamada, M., Pressure cutaneous ulcer over a pacemaker successfully treated with left subcostal transplantation in an extremely thin patient, The Journal of Dermatology (2006); 33(8); 567-570., Swartout-Corbeil, DM., The Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health (2013); 3;2753-2756., Zeller, J., Pressure Ulcers, Journal of the American Medical Association (2006) 296(8); pp 1020

Reviewed By:  

Freeborn, Donna, PhD, CNM, FNP,Hurd, Robert, MD