Pressure sores (bed sores) are an injury to the skin and underlying tissue. They can range from mild reddening of the skin to severe tissue damage—and sometimes infection—that extends into muscle and bone. Pressure sores are described in four stages:
In stages 3 and 4 there may be little or no pain due to significant tissue damage. Serious complications, such as infection of the bone (osteomyelitis) or blood (sepsis), can occur if pressure sores progress.
Sometimes a pressure sore does not fit into one of these stages.
Last Revised: February 15, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Margaret Doucette, DO - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Wound Care, Hyperbaric Medicine
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