Stages of Heel Decubitus Ulcers / The Steele Law FirmElders are sent to nursing homes when their families can no longer provide them with the care they need. Homes promise expert care and the ability to cater to the needs of each resident. They often accept Medicaid funds on a similar premise. Unfortunately they often fail to live up to the promised standard of care; both to the elder, the family, and the government. One example of avoidable ailments common in nursing homes is Decubitus Ulcers.

Decubitus Ulcers are pressure ulcers which occur on the heel.[1] The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel defines a pressure ulcer as, “localized injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue usually over a bony prominence, as a result of pressure, or pressure in combination with shear. Decubitus Ulcers are more likely to occur when bed-bound residents lay in certain positions for extended periods without repositioning. Bed-bound nursing home residents who lay on their back or sit up in bed are most at risk for Decubitus Ulcers.[2]

Like all pressure ulcers Decubitus Ulcers come in four main stages.[3] Stage One is called non-blanchable erythema and refers to the redness of heel.[4] At this stage ulcers can be difficult to detect but are very treatable.[5] Stage Two refers to partial thickness, or a mark resembling a rash or skinned knee, on the heel. The ulcer is still in the first layer of skin at this point.[6] Stage Three Sacral Pressure Ulcers have full-skin thickness loss and occur when subcutaneous fat are possibly visible but bone, tendon or muscle are not.[7] Stage Four occurs when there is Full Thickness Tissue loss.[8] This means that bone, muscle or tendon may be exposed and damaged.[9] At this stage surgery is often needed as there is a great risk of infection, sepsis, necrosis[10] or other complications.[11]

Elders should seldom have to deal with the consequences of Decubitus Ulcers. Repositioning bed-bound residents every two hours can often effectively combat their development.[12] Pressure relieving methods such as pillows and foam padding can help too.[13] Examinations of residents for sores can also detect them at earlier stages where they are less painful and dangerous.[14] Despite this ease of prevention and detection, nursing homes still fail to protect their residents fully from these painful elements.

[1] Stages of Heel Decubitus Ulcers. Retrieved from

[2] Certified Medical Illlustrations, Common Sites for Pressure Sores. Retrieved from

[3] Id

[4] Stages of Sacral Pressure Ulcer. Retrieved from


[6] Id.

[7] Id.

[8] Id

[9] Id

[10] Stages of Sacral Pressure Ulcer. Retrieved from


[12] Id

[13] Id

[14] Id[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]