Medical Definition of Bed sore

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Bed sore: A painful, often reddened area of degenerating, ulcerated skin caused by pressure and lack of movement, and worsened by exposure to urine or other irritating substances on the skin. Untreated bed sores can become seriously infected or gangrenous. Bed sores are a major problem for patients who are confined to bed or a wheelchair. They can be prevented by moving the patient frequently, changing bedding, and keeping the skin clean and dry. Also called a pressure sore, decubitus sore, or decubitus ulcer.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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