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What’s the difference between a pressure sore and a bed sore?

What is a pressure sore?

A pressure sore, or decubitus ulcer, is a zone of damaged skin and tissue that forms when a person stays in one position for an extended period without moving. This can happen when a person is bedridden, has limited mobility, or cannot change position due to a disability or medical condition. Pressure sores are typically found on the bony body areas, such as the heels, ankles, tailbone and hips. Pressure sores are caused by the body’s pressure against a bed or chair and can be painful and take a long time to heal.

How is a bed sore different from a pressure sore?

The term ‘bed sore’ is used when a decubitus ulcer (pressure sore) forms due to prolonged periods in a bed. The term bed sore is often used because being bed-bound is the most common cause of pressure sores, usually due to extended stays in hospitals or care homes. 

What to do if you think you have a bed or pressure sore

Routine care can prevent bed and pressure sores by regularly moving and repositioning the body, keeping the skin clean and moisturized, and using protective devices, such as pressure-relieving cushions or mattress overlays. It is vital to seek medical attention if you suspect that you or somebody close to you might have a bed sore or pressure sore, as early treatment can help prevent the sore from getting worse and reduce the risk of infection.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a bed sore or pressure sore due to medical negligence then you may be entitled to compensation. Check out our making a claim for a bed sore injury page or how long a medical negligence claim could take to learn more.

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Alan Curtis
Alan Curtis graduated with a Law degree from the University of Westminster in 1988. He passed the Solicitors final examination in London in 1989. After training in a central London practice, he qualified as a Solicitor in 1992. He then worked in Yateley, Surrey, in general litigation before moving to Cornwall and specialising in personal injuries and clinical negligence.
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