A decubitus ulcer, also called a pressure sore or bed sore, is an open wound on your skin. Pressure sores often occur on the skin covering bony areas. The most common places for a pressure sore to appear includes your hips, back, ankles, and buttocks.
It is common among the elderly, disabled, and other people who spend long periods in bed or a wheelchair, or cannot move certain body parts without help. Decubitus ulcers are also prone to those with fragile skin. The condition is highly treatable and recovery is good with proper diagnosis.
Decubitus ulcers occur in stages. The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel developed a staging process to help your practitioner diagnose and treat pressure sores says California Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Steven Peck.
Stage 1 Decubitus Ulcers
The skin is unbroken, but shows discoloration. If you have a light complexion, the area may appear red. If you have a dark complexion, the discoloration may vary from bluish to purple, or it may appear whitish.
Stage 2 Decubitus Ulcers
The skin is open and shows signs of some tissue death around the wound. The ulcer is shallow or not too deep.
Stage 3 Decubitus Ulcers
The ulcer is much deeper within the skin’s tissue (affecting the fat layers) and has the appearance of a crater. A pus-like substance may be present in the sore as well.
Stage 4 Decubitus Ulcers
This stage affects multiples layers of tissue, including muscle and bone. A dark substance called eschar may be present inside the sore.
Unstageable Decubitus Ulcers
The ulcer may have a yellow, brown, or green scab covering it. The damage to the tissue layers is extensive and requires removal.
About the Author
Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.