How will I know if my bed sores are infected?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Signs that your bed sores are infected include a bad odor emanating from the sore and skin that looks red and swollen and feels tender or unusually warm. Call your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms. If you develop a fever or feel weak or confused, these are signs that the infection may have worsened and you need to seek medical help immediately.

Since infection can be a serious - even life-threatening - complication of bed sores, it's important to recognize it and it treat early. Signs that your bed sores are infected include:

  • Fever.
  • An unpleasant odor coming from the sore.
  • A worsening of pain.
  • Pus draining from the sore.
  • Redness in the skin surrounding the sore.
  • A feeling of warmth in the skin surrounding the sore.

Contact your doctor immediately if you notice any of these signs.

Continue Learning about Bed Sores (Pressure Ulcers)

Bed Sores (Pressure Ulcers)

The elderly and people with decreased mobility are among those most at risk for developing bed sores or pressure ulcers. People who suffer from heart disease, diabetes, obesity, paralysis and spinal cord injuries are also suscepti...

ble. Bed sores develop when skin covering a weight-bearing part of the body becomes squeezed between bone and another hard object, such as a mattress. The prolonged pressure causes a loss of blood flow to the tissue, developing into shiny red skin that blisters and forms an open sore, which becomes infected. The infection can be fatal. Treatment involves removing dead tissue and keeping the healthy skin intact.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.