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Which may also be called decubitus ulcer or pressure sore, an ulcer that forms on the skin of patients who are immobile are unconscious.  Common sites for bedsores include the elbows, lower back, shoulders, hips, buttocks, ankles and heels.


Bedsores may come about after receiving a spinal injuries or a stroke that result in loss of sensation.  Incontinence, if it results in constantly wet skin, may also be a causative factor.


Bedsores begin as painful red areas that become purple before the skin starts to break down, producing open sores.  At this stage the sores can become infected and take somettime to heal.

Treatment and prevention

Chronic, deep ulcers may require treatment with antibiotic drugs and in some cases plastic surgery.  Good nursing care including changing the patient’s position regularly, skin care, protection of vulnerable areas and use of special mattresses and cushions should prevent bedsores from developing in most cases.  

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