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Pressure Sores, Bed Sores, and Decubitus Ulcers Are Usually Avoidable

Pressure Sores, Bed Sores, and Decubitus Ulcers Are Usually Avoidable

Bedsores the four stagesAccording to Title 42 Federal Code of Regulations Section 483.25 (c) Skilled Nursing Facilities in the United States of America have mandatory duties regarding Pressure Sores, Bed Sores and Decubitus Ulcers regarding any Nursing Home Resident that:

(1) A resident who enters the facility without Pressure Sores, Bed Sores, and Decubitus Ulcers, does not develop pressure sores unless the individual’s clinical condition demonstrates that they were unavoidable; and
(2) A resident having Pressure Sores, Bed Sores, and Decubitus Ulcers receives necessary treatment and services to promote healing, prevent infection and prevent new sores from developing.

What Are Pressure Sores, also called Bed Sores or Decubitus Ulcers?

A pressure sore is a skin ulcer that is commonly called a “bed sore,” and medically called a “decubitus ulcer.”

It can range from a very mild pink coloration of the skin, which disappears in a few hours after pressure is relieved on the area, to a very deep wound extending to and sometimes through a bone into internal organs.

These ulcers, as well as other wound types, are classified in stages according to the severity of the wound.

All decubitus ulcers, pressure sores, and bed sores have a course of injury similar to a burn wound. This can be a mild redness of the skin and/or blistering, such as a first-degree burn, to a deep open wound with blackened tissue, as in a third-degree burn. This blackened tissue is called eschar.

How Are Pressure Sores,  Bed Sores or Decubitus Ulcers Formed?

Pressure Sores, Bed Sores and Decubitus Ulcers are formed by and through pressure. However, it can also occur from friction by rubbing against something such as a bed sheet, cast, brace, etc., or from prolonged exposure to cold. Any area of tissue that lies just over a bone is much more likely to develop a decubitus ulcer, pressure sore or bed sore. These areas include the spine, coccyx or tailbone, hips, heels, and elbows, to name a few.

The weight of the person’s body presses on the bone, the bone presses on the tissue and skin that cover it, and the tissue is trapped between the bone structure and bed or wheelchair surface. The tissue begins to decay from lack of blood circulation. This is the basic formation of how a decubitus ulcer, pressure sore and a bed sore are formed.

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.


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