What Are Bedsores?
What Are Bedsores?

Understanding Bedsores

Understanding bedsores is the first step to recognizing neglect and seeking justice for affected individuals. At Traction Law Group, we believe in empowering individuals and families with the knowledge to help protect their loved ones in care facilities.

Bedsores, medically known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are skin and underlying tissue injuries. They result from prolonged pressure or friction on specific body areas, particularly over bony prominences like the hips, heels, and tailbone. These injuries are common among individuals with limited mobility, such as those who are bedridden or require a wheelchair.

Causes of Pressure Wounds

Pressure wounds typically develop when a person’s ability to move is limited and they remain in one position for too long. Factors contributing to bedsores include:

Sustained pressure

When the body doesn’t move, blood flow to the skin reduces, causing it and nearby tissues to die.


Friction occurs when the skin rubs against clothing or bedding. If the skin is fragile, it becomes more vulnerable to injury, especially if it’s moist.


Shear happens when two surfaces move in the opposite direction. For example, when a bed elevates the head, a person can slide down, causing the skin over a bone to stay in place, tearing and damaging tissue.

Medical Conditions and Susceptibility to Decubitus Ulcers

Certain medical conditions can make an individual more susceptible to developing bedsores. These conditions often involve reduced mobility, impaired sensation, or compromised nutritional status. Some of the most common include:

  • Paralysis: Paralyzed individuals cannot often reposition themselves, making them susceptible to sustained pressure on specific body parts.
  • Neurological Disorders: Conditions such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease can limit a person’s mobility or sensation, increasing the risk of bedsores.
  • Diabetes: This condition can affect circulation and the body’s ability to heal, making bedsores a common complication.
  • Malnutrition and Dehydration: Both conditions can make the skin vulnerable and affect its ability to heal, leading to a higher risk of bedsores.
  • Aging: As skin becomes thinner and drier, it’s more susceptible to damage and slower to heal, increasing the risk of bedsores in elderly individuals.

Stages of Bedsores

Bedsores progress in stages based on severity, ranging from Stage 1 (earliest signs) to Stage 4 (most severe). Early detection and treatment can prevent a wound from reaching a severe stage.

Prevention and Treatment

Preventing bedsores is crucial and often involves:

  • Frequent repositioning.
  • Providing good nutrition and hydration.
  • Maintaining skin cleanliness and dryness.

Treatment for existing wounds depends on their stage and might include pressure relief, wound dressings, medication, and in severe cases, surgery.

Bedsores can be a sign of neglect in care facilities. If you suspect a loved one suffers from bedsores due to inadequate care, seeking legal help is essential. Contact Traction Law Group for experienced guidance and representation. Our bedsore lawyers are here to help you navigate this challenging time and fight for the justice your loved one deserves.

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