How to Recognize and Know the Stage of a Bedsore
There are four stages associated with bedsores, each one gradually worse than the stage preceding it. If you or someone you know has an increased risk of developing a bedsore because of prolonged confinement to a bed or chair, then you should be aware of the signs correlated with such an injury.
The earlier the signs and symptoms of a bedsore are recognized, the more likely a treatment plan can be put into place that can return the injured person’s health to normal.
Is it a Bedsore?
If you notice on yourself or a person close to you an area of skin that is red, discolored, or dark, you might be looking at a bedsore. A bedsore is generally hard and warm to the touch as compared to other surrounding areas of skin.
If you suspect that a bedsore might be present, you should consult a health care provider to conclusively establish the condition and put into place a treatment plan.
A stage 1 bedsore will appear as a red or discolored area of skin and might be a different temperature compared to surrounding areas of skin. The skin might be painful but there are not any breaks or tears present.
When a bedsore is in its second stage, the top layer of skin, the epidermis, is broken and a shallow open sore is present. In some cases, the second layer of skin, the dermis, is also broken. The sore might look like a scrape, blister, or shallow crater in the skin.
In stage 3, the wound extends through both layers of skin and into the fatty subcutaneous tissue. Looking at the wound, there are not any bones, tendons, or muscles visible.
Stage 4 of a bedsore is when the wound extends into a person’s muscle and possibly as far down as the bone. Usually there is a lot of dead tissue and drainage present, and there is a high possibility of infection.
When the Stage of a Bedsore Cannot be Determined
In some circumstances, the stage of a bedsore cannot be construed. This might occur if the base of a bedsore is covered and the doctor cannot see the base of the sore in order to determine the stage it is in.
Common Locations of Bedsores
For people who use wheelchairs, bedsores are most commonly found on the tailbone or buttocks, shoulder blades or spine, and backs of arms and legs. For those who are bed-confined, bedsores are found most frequently on the back or sides of the head, rims of the ears, shoulders or shoulder blades, hip or lower back, heels or ankles, and tailbone.