- Bed sores appear frequently on patients in hospitals, care facilities, and in at-home care situations.
- They are treatable. If they’re present on an older adult, they SHOULD be getting treated.
- Untreated bed sores are a sign of elder neglect.
- Untreated bed sores should be documented (take pictures & describe).
- The medical term for bed sores is “decubitus ulcers.” They’re also known as pressure sores.
- Bed sores are open sores (small or large, superficial or deep) caused by immobility.
- The continuous pressure on the body’s surface reduces the blood flow to that area and the tissue dies, forming the open sore.
- Bed sores can form in a matter of hours or days.
The most common places to see bed sores are:
- Sacrum (low back)
- Shoulder blades
They may also be found on atypical areas of the body based on the patient’s positioning.
There are four stages (I-IV) of bed sore severity:
- Stage I – reddened area on the skin (not open) that doesn’t turn white when pressed
- Stage II – may be a blister or an open sore
- Stage III – a sunken crater that dips into the tissue below the skin
- Stage IV – level that reaches bone or white cartilage (may be shallow or deep depending on the area)
Consult with a physician to correctly identify bedsores and staging.