The Financial Impact of Pressure ulcers: By John Maynard, Shield Healthcare

In this whiteboard animation, Shield HealthCare gives you information about how pressure ulcers impact the healthcare system and patients. Pressure ulcers affect 3 million adults at an annual cost to the U.S. healthcare system of more than $11 billion. What’s more, nearly 60,000 patients die each year as a direct result of a pressure ulcer.

Indeed, pressure ulcers are a major health problem, and with increasing health care costs, an aging population and a sharp rise in diabetes and obesity, the burden—and toll—of pressure ulcers will likely grow. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Watch to learn more.


Gwen Jewell is a nurse who saw an opportunity. After leading her hospital initiative to reduce pressure ulcers, Gwen discovered 3 critical factors that were leading to musculoskeletal injuries, ergonomic issues for caregivers and a lack of support of the patient’s body. Gwen took home a wedge and a fishing knife and began designing.

For 3 years, Gwen worked on the perfect wedge for patients. Her passion for creating the perfect wedge is a personal one as well. Gwen’s brother has a spinal cord injury, and she wanted to find something that was perfect for him.

In all of her research and with the help of her brother, she discovered how to get patients feeling like they were “floating in space” with the perfectly angled wedge.

Find out how she was able to create this company in this episode.

The Backbone Turning Wedge FULL Version

As a “bedside training” nurse educator, Gwen was tasked to lead her hospitals’ pressure ulcer prevention efforts. It was here that she was inspired to develop better positioning supports and techniques.