Bedsore Staging 101

The first question we ask when a potential case involves bedsores is “what stage is the bedsore?”

Bedsore staging is the process of classifying pressure ulcers based on their severity. Pressure ulcers, or bedsores, are injuries to the skin and underlying tissues when a person remains in one position for too long without shifting their weight. They are most common in people who are bedridden, have limited mobility, or are in a wheelchair for an extended period. Bedsores are most likely to form on the lower back by the tailbone (sacrum), hips, and heels.

Bedsore staging is essential to ensure proper treatment and prevent further damage. Healthcare professionals use a four-stage scale to classify pressure ulcers. Below is a brief overview of each stage.

Bedsore Stages

  • Stage 1: The skin is intact, but there is redness, warmth, or swelling. The affected area may also feel painful, red, or warm compared to the surrounding skin.
  • Stage 2: The skin breaks down, forming a shallow, open wound. The wound may be tender, painful, and appear as a blister or abrasion.
  • Stage 3: The wound deepens, and the underlying tissues become damaged. The wound may have a crater-like appearance and can expose fat tissue. Signs of infection like odor and pus drainage can appear.
  • Stage 4: In the most advanced stage, the wound extends into muscle, bone, or supporting structures. The damage may affect tendons, joints, and nerves, and the wound may be covered with dead tissue or eschar. Infection from the wound can turn into sepsis or osteomyelitis, both of which are deadly.

To determine the stage of a bedsore, healthcare professionals check several factors. They measure the depth of the wound, amount of dead tissue, and presence of infection. Treatment for bedsore will vary depending on the stage. Regularly rotating bed-bound patients, providing air mattresses, and tending to wounds in the early stages is key. Once the wound is stage 3, more aggressive treatment like antibiotics and surgery may be needed.


Bedsores are preventable. If you or a loved one has suffered from bedsores due to the care of a nursing home, hospital, or long-term care facility, we are here to help. Our experienced attorneys have success holding Texas medical facilities accountable for allowing stage 3 and 4 bedsores to develop. Call us today for a free consultation!


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