Bed sores occur when an area of skin has been placed under pressure for an extended period, leading to blood being unable to reach the affected skin tissue properly. This lack of circulation results in a red sore that can affect the deep skin and muscle tissues in that area.
There are 4 stages regarding bed sores:
1st stage: A red sore that does not disappear when a finger is pressed against it.
2nd stage: Some areas of skin begin to peel, while the sore may begin to blister or develop into a shallow wound.
3rd stage: An open wound that reaches the fatty layer of skin tissue. Muscle and bone will not yet be visible.
4th stage: An open wound that reaches muscle, tendon and bone.
Bed sores tend to occur at areas where bones protrude. Bed sores can result in pain and infection, and those that are left untreated can lead to extremely complicated infections.
Bed sores can be prevented by moving the patient from one side to another and changing their lying position every 2 hours. This includes, for example, moving them from lying on their left side to lying on their back, right side or on their front (where suitable). Moreover, pillows, airbeds or soft blankets can be used to cushion key contact points and avoid friction.
Should a bed sore develop, it is essential that it be treated immediately by taking any weight off that area of skin.