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What Are the Stages of Bed Sores?
By Nursing Home Law Center
Bed sores are categorized by severity, from Stage I (earliest signs) to Stage IV (worst):
Stage I: A reddened area on the skin that, when pressed, is “non-blanchable” (does not turn white). This indicates that a pressure ulcer is starting to develop.
Stage II: The skin blisters or forms an open sore. The area around the sore may be red and irritated.
Stage III: The skin breakdown now looks like a crater where there is damage to the tissue below the skin.
Stage IV: The pressure ulcer has become so deep that there is damage to the muscle and bone, and sometimes tendons and joints.
Occasionally, reference will be made to a bed sore that is “unstageable”. An unstageable bed sore is usually indicative of a bed sore that has advanced so far that a large area of skin, tissue and bone is involved.
Interestingly, once a bed sore has progressed to a certain point, it can not be improved in terms of level of severity. For example, even after a stage IV bed sore has begun the healing process, it is still considered to be a stage IV bed sore.
- Is there such a thing as ‘reverse staging’ for healing bed sores?
- What are the characteristics of each stage of pressure ulcer?
- Federal Guidelines Suggest Specific Measures for Preventing and Treating Bed Sores