Pressure ulcers, also called “decubitus ulcers,” “bed sores,” or “pressure sores” are defined as lesions caused by unrelieved pressure or shear resulting in damage of underlying tissue. These wounds often occur over bony prominences. Prolonged pressure causes ischemia, which leads to tissue necrosis that typically first occurs in the tissue closest to the bone.
- Stage 1: A persistent area of skin redness (without a break in the skin) that does not disappear when pressure is relieved.
- Stage 2: A partial thickness is lost and may appear as an abrasion, blister, or shallow crater.
- Stage 3: A full thickness is lost, exposing the subcutaneous tissues – presents as a deep crater with or without undermining adjacent tissue.
- Stage 4: A full thickness of skin and subcutaneous tissues are lost, exposing muscle or bone.
Individuals at higher risk to Pressure ulcers:
- Recent Weigh Loss: Individual had weight loss of 5% or more during the past 30 days or 10% or more during the past 180 days.
- High Immobility: Individual requiring extensive assistance or were totally dependent in regard to bed mobility (how individual moves to and from lying position, turns side to side, and positions body while in bed) and transfer (how individual moves between surfaces – to and from: bed, chair, wheelchair, and standing position).
- Recent Incontinence: Individual in incontinent at least 2 to 3 times a week or more.
Park-Lee E, Caffrey C. Pressure ulcers among nursing home residents: United States, 2004. NCHS data brief, no 14. National Center for Health Statistics. 2009.