What are the Stages of Bed Sores?

By Nursing Home Law Center

Stages of Pressure Sores

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.

Related Information
Client Reviews
★★★★★
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
★★★★★
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric