OBJECTIVE The treatment costs for pressure ulcers and venous leg ulcers were estimated based on the hospital administrator's perspective in Germany. DESIGN A spreadsheet model using input data from various hospitals in Germany was developed. INTERVENTIONS Five currently used treatment strategies were analysed: gauze, impregnated gauze, calcium alginate and hydroactive wound dressing with enzymatic ointment. PARTICIPANTS All cases used for and in the analysis were treated in the inpatient setting (4 hospitals and 120 patients were included). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES AND RESULTS The outcome distributions were calculated using the Monte Carlo method. For the whole treatment process, the attributable costs for the hospital were calculated for different cases (severity) and all treatment strategies (1997 values). The costs for treatment with gauze were the highest, whereas the costs for treatment with hydroactive wound dressings and enzymatic ointment were the lowest. The relation between personnel and material costs for gauze is approximately 95 to 5% and for hydroactive wound dressings 67 to 33%, respectively. The cost savings per case were between 1196 deutschmark (DM) and DM9826 using hydroactive wound dressings instead of gauze dressings (depending on the severity of the pressure ulcer), and between DM135 and DM677 for venous leg ulcers. The results were robust and did not change in any performed sensitivity analysis (parameter: 'personnel costs per minute', 'time required for changing a wound dressing', 'total number of wound dressing changes'). CONCLUSIONS Despite the higher material costs of the hydroactive wound dressings in combination with enzymatic wound cleaning compared with other wound dressings, they should be recommended for the treatment of pressure ulcers and venous leg ulcers. This therapy alternative brings about significant reductions in total costs for hospitals because of significant reductions in personnel costs and the duration of treatment.