Pressure Injuries in the Healthcare Setting: Even Superman Is Not Immune

  • Janette Bisbee The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania


In 2004, pressure injuries (then called pressure ulcers) got a lot of publicity when Christopher Reeve, the actor who played Superman in four major motion pictures, died from sepsis caused by an infected pressure injury on his sacrum.

Those of us in healthcare found this case compelling because of the irony that the ventilator-dependent quadriplegic who was synonymous with an impervious superhero could die from something as seemingly mun-dane as a skin wound. If Reeve, whose wealth enabled him to receive state-of-the art medical care and round-the-clock nursing, could succumb to a pressure injury, how can healthcare providers prevent pressure injuries in vulnerable patients in the acute care hospital setting?

Author Biography

Janette Bisbee, The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania

Janette Bisbee ( is the educa-tion/project manager for pressure injury prevention at The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania’s Hospital Improvement Innovation Network.


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Red cape on the back of a wheelchair next to a bed in the hospital, looking out the window.
How to Cite
Bisbee, J. (2020). Pressure Injuries in the Healthcare Setting: Even Superman Is Not Immune. Patient Safety , 2(1), 4. Retrieved from
Patient Safety Initiatives
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