Bed sores are pressure sores that cause an injury to the skin and underlying tissue. Types of bed sores can range from mild reddening of the skin to severe tissue damage that extends into the muscle and bone. Pressure sores are described in four stages:
Stage 1: The sore is not an open wound. This stage is where the sore has no breaks or tears, but may still be painful. The skin appears reddened and does not lose color briefly when you press on it and remove it. A stage 1 sore can feel either firmer or softer than the area around it.
Stage 2: The skin breaks open, wears away, or forms an ulcer, which is usually tender and painful. The sore begins to expand in this stage into a deeper layer of the skin. It can look like a scrape or blister to the skin. Some skin may be damaged beyond repair or may die.
Stage 3: The sore gets worse and extends to the tissue beneath the skin, forming a small crater. Far may show in the sore, but not muscle, tendon, or bone.
Stage 4: The pressure sore is very deep, reaching into muscle and bone and causing extensive damage. Damage to the tissues, tendons and joints may occur.
Stages 3 and 4 may not bring very much pain to the patient due to significant tissue damage. Serious complications, such as infection of the bone, or blood, can occur is pressure sores progress.
It’s important to understand how to recognize the symptoms, as they may be a clear sign of neglect of your elderly loved one. If your loved one has been neglected or abused by their care taker or nursing home, learn more about how Finkelstein & Partners can help.