Stages of Decubitus Ulcers
Stages of decubitus ulcers are classified from Stage I to Stage IV according to the severity of symptoms.
Stage I— In fair-skinned individuals, a defined skin area is characterized by persistent redness. Darker skin may come with hues of red, purple of blue. Compared to the other adjacent body area, the changes in the defined area involve skin temperature, sensation, and palpable or felt tissue consistency. When the define area is pressed, the skin does not turn to white— a key indicator that decubitus ulcer has already started to occur.
Stage II— At this stage, the decubitus ulcer is still superficial. A blister, an abrasion, or a shallow crater or open sore has formed; the surrounding area of which may appear to be irritated and red in color.
Stage III— The superficial ulcer appears like a deep crater, where thick skin loss involves impairment in the skin’s underlying tissue. The depth of damage may reach the fascia, but does not pass through it.
Stage IV— Further impairment takes place along with the fully thick skin loss. The depth of damage reaches the bone, muscle, or the supporting tendons and joint capsule. Furthermore, sinus tracts may also characterize Stage IV decubitus ulcers.