Bedsores (Decubitus Ulcers)

What Is It?

Bedsores, also called pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are areas of broken skin that can develop in people who:

  • Have been confined to bed for extended periods of time

  • Are unable to move for short periods of time, especially if they are thin or have blood vessel disease or neurological diseases

  • Use a wheelchair or bedside chair (a hospital chair that allows a patient to sit upright next to the bed)

Bedsores are common in people in hospitals and nursing homes and in people being cared for at home. Bedsores form where the weight of the person's body presses the skin against the firm surface of the bed.

In people confined to bed, bedsores are most common over the hip, spine, lower back, tailbone, shoulder blades, elbows and heels. In people who use a wheelchair, bedsores tend to occur on the buttocks and bottoms of the feet.

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