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Bed Sores Stages
Bed sores (a.k.a pressure sores or dicubitus ulcers) are an injury to the surface areas and underlying tissues of the skin. Since they are most commonly referred to as “bed sores” or “bedsores,” that will be the term used in this document.
In the beginning stages of bed sore development, the injury can appear red; as it worsens, the injury (which can include an infection) can reach the bone and muscle.
Bed sores have four stages of development, as follows:
- Stage I Bed Sores
The skin of a stage I bedsore has no tears or breaks; it does not contain an open wound and appears reddish in color in a lighter-skinned individual. The temperature of the skin when a stage I bedsore is present is often warmer than normal.
- Stage II Bed Sores
Once the bedsore reaches stage II, the injury has expanded deeper and the skin has broken. The skin appears like a blister, or abrasion has occurred and it will either form a painful ulcer, break open, or have worn away. The skin of a stage II bedsore is tender to the touch and some or all of it may have died. If the skin is not dead, the chances of repair are reduced.
- Stage III Bed Sores
During stage III bedsores, the skin’s injury extends even deeper into the underlying tissue. A small crater begins to form, as well as the visibility of fat within the sore. Bone, tendon, or muscle is not visible on a stage III bedsore.
- Stage IV Bed Sores
The worst of the bed sores’ stages, a stage IV bedsore is extremely painful to the touch, as the injury has now extended deeper into the tissue reaching the bone and muscle, potentially damaging the tendons and joints.
Bed sores are serious injuries and should be handled with extreme urgency. If you or a loved one is suffering from a bed sore or you suspect a bed sore is developing, please contact a skilled nursing home abuse attorney, such as Brian P. Murphy, immediately.