Aim: Pressure ulceration is a significant, but preventable, cause of morbidity and resource utilisation in hospital populations. Data on pressure ulcer prevalence in Ireland are limited. This study aims to determine (i) the point-prevalence of pressure ulcers in three teaching hospitals in Ireland and (ii) risk factors for their development. Methods: Eight teams of one doctor and one nurse visited 672 adult patients over a 2-day period in three teaching hospitals. Each patient was examined and pressure ulcers graded with the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel system. Mental test score, Barthel index, type of support surface, length of stay, documentation of risk assessment and serum albumin were recorded. Results: Point-prevalence of pressure ulceration was 18.5%. Seventy-seven percent of pressure ulcers were hospital-acquired, 49% grade 1, 37% grade 2, 11% grade 3 and 3% grade 4. Reduced mobility, urinary incontinence, cognitive impairment, low serum albumin and length of stay were significantly associated with pressure ulcers. Multivariate logistic regression analysis found reduced mobility (odds ratio 8.84; 95% CI 5.04-15.48, p < 0.0001) and length of stay (odds ratio 1.02; 95% CI 1.01-1.02, p < 0.0001) to be predictive of the presence of pressure ulcers. Age, gender and risk assessment documentation were not associated with pressure ulcers. Sixty-five percent of patients with pressure ulcers were positioned on appropriate support surfaces. Discussion: Point-prevalence of pressure ulceration was 18.5%, similar to international data. Regular audit of prevalence, prevention and management strategies may raise awareness, influence resource allocation and ultimately improve patient care. © 2008 Tissue Viability Society.