Picture of Michael Anzalone

Stages of Bed Sores

The use of a numerical scale from 1 to 4 entails pressure sores fulfilling specific characteristics which can be categorized to assist caregivers in the healing and treatment process.

Namely when a bedsore has made progression to a stage three or four, open wounds can become a severe health danger for a patient.

These wounds normally indicate poor treatment and care, in addition to the medical consequences of stages of bed sores advanced.


The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, widely accepted, developed a scale for pressure sores used across the country at hospitals and nursing homes.

Here is a description of each pressure sore stage as implemented by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel:

For Stage 1, a bed sore, initially appears as a pesky area of red skin which may hurt or itch and feel spongy and warm or firm to touch.

In Black people, Hispanics, and others with a dark complexion, this mark may appear to have a purple or blue cast or look ashy or flaky.

Wounds in Stage 1 are superficial, and may even go away shortly subsequent to the release of the pressure.

For Stage 2, at this juncture, some loss of skin has occurred already, either in the outermost layer of skin, in the skin’s deeper layer, on both.

The wound now appears to be an open sore, which looks like an abrasion or a blister, and the surrounding tissues may reveal discoloration that is red or purple.

Stage 2 sores, if treated immediately, normally heals quite rapidly.

For Stage 3, when a pressure ulcer reaches this point, it can extend through every skin layer right down to the muscle, destroying or damaging the tissue affected, and creating a crater-like, deep wound.

During Stage 4, in the most advanced and serious stage, skin loss at a large-scale occurs, along with damage to the bone, muscle, and even joints, tendons and other supporting structures.

Wounds at Stage 4 are vastly difficult to heal, and can result in lethal infections normally referred to as sepsis.

In stages of bed sores, stage levels are crucial in knowing what kind of treatment is necessary for a bedsore.

Healthcare staff should know well of any adequate treatment procedures to treat ulcers or pressure sores.

Generally, in the early stages, treatment is a matter of dressing a wound; in Stage 1, protective, and in Stage 2, possibly a dressing that is moist.

The most crucial aspect is to relieve the pressure, which can cause the sore to develop.

Healing at stages of bed sores can be a matter of days or several weeks if properly handled.

If a pressure sore only becomes worse and reaches one of the later stages (3 or 4), the treatment can become lengthy and more of a challenge.

Often, there is medication necessary as well as ongoing cleansing, and debridement of wound along with pressure reduction on-site.


If a family member started with no bedsores, or only sores at minor stages, and they were permitted to progress, there is a likelihood that the healthcare staff is not properly treating this condition.

Contact us for a free consultation or call Anzalone Law Firm PLLC, at: 603.548.3797.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Great lawyer...Professional, organized, caring and effective. Michael is very informative and was always willing to explain the reasons behind what was being done. Can't say enough about how helpful he was every step of the way. It was really nice to feel like I actually understood what was going on with my case.