What are Bed Sores?

By Nursing Home Law Center

What Are Bedsores

Bed sores are areas of skin that break down when a person stays in one position for too long without shifting their weight. This often happens if a person is wheelchair-bound or is bedridden. Bed sores can develop quickly, posing a risk for those even with short-term stays (for example, after surgery or an injury). The constant pressure against the skin reduces the blood supply to that area, and the affected tissue dies.

A bed sore starts as reddened skin but can get progressively worse, forming a blister, then an open sore, and finally a crater. An advanced bed sore can literally form a hole in the skin to expose deep tissue, ligaments and bone. The most common places for bed sores are over bony areas like the:

  • Elbow
  • Heels
  • Hips
  • Ankles
  • Shoulders
  • Back
  • Back of the head
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