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Updated on June 8, 2022

Pressure Sore Healing Process 

Pressure or bed sores can be life-threatening and range in severity from early Stage 1 skin redness to Stage 4 severe, deep craters with exposed muscle or bone.  It is very important to detect and treat pressure sores early to prevent complications such as infection, sepsis or even gangrene.  These sores are caused by constant pressure which disrupts blood supply to the area resulting in lack of oxygen and nutrients supply. 

Pressure ulcers from Stage 1 to 4 

Image AAFP David Klemm 

What are the Causes of Pressure Injuries 

Pressure injuries are caused when an external force is applied to the skin resulting in tissue damage.  These forces include; 

  • Pressure (constant pressure on a part of a body) usually due to lying in one position for too long such as after stroke or surgery 
  • Shear damage due to dragging forces such as sliding around the bed sheet or against a chair 
  • Moisture from sweat, urine or faeces can increase risk of pressure injury 

Click to view Cleveland Clinic video on Home Care for your Pressure Injuries 

Management of Sores 

Treatment of pressure sores required dedicated nursing care by wound care practitioners who will need to clean and dress the wound regularly with the appropriate choice of wound dressings.  Each patient is different and as such, the healing rate will differ.  Although more than 70% of stage 2 ulcers heal after six months of appropriate treatment, only 50% of stage 3 ulcers and 30% of stage 4 ulcers heal within this period. Factors which influence the healing rates include; 

  • Health and age of the patient 
  • Nutritional status 
  • Mobility and fitness level 
  • Other health issues such as diabetes, stroke, heart or vascular disease
  • Presence of infection 

Consult your Nursing Care Practitioner for treatment advice 


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