Under half a million people in the UK will develop at least one bedsore in any given year.

Bedsore’s, medically referred to as pressure ulcers or pressure sores is an injury which is caused by prolonged pressure to the skin. These can range from patches of discolored skin to open wounds that expose the bone or muscle.

People with a medical condition that restricts their ability to change positions, requiring them to use a wheelchair or confines them to a bed for a long period of time are at higher risk of developing bedsores. Elderly people are also more susceptible to bedsores as they are more likely to have mobility problems and ageing skin which is more delicate.

Signs & Symptoms

There are four stages in the development of bedsores and all have different symptoms as the severity of each stage differ.

Stage 1

  • The skin is not broken
  • Skin appears red on people with lighter skin, and the skin doesn’t briefly lighten when touched.
  • Pain in the general area
  • Skin may show discoloration on those with darker skin and it doesn’t lighten when touched.
  • The area may be painful, firm, soft, warm or cool compared to the surrounding skin

Stage 2

  • Outer layer of skin and part of the underlying skin is damaged or lost
  • Wound may be shallow and pinkish or red
  • A fluid blister or a ruptured blister may occur

Stage 3

  • Loss of skin, usually exposing some fat
  • Bottom of the wound may have yellow tinted dead tissue
  • Damage may extend below primary wound to layers of healthy skin

Stage 4

  • Wound may expose muscle, bone or tendons
  • Bottom of wound likely contains dead tissue which has a yellow tint or is dark and crusty
  • Damage often extends beyond the wound to the layers of healthy skin
  • At this grade people are at higher risk of developing a life-threatening infection


A bedsore is unstageable when its surface is covered with yellow, brown, dark or dead tissue meaning it is not possible to see how deep it is.

Making a bedsore claim

Here at CM Solicitors we work on a No Win, No Fee basis within our claims department so there is no charge to yourself for seeking compensation.

If you would like to contact us to see if you are eligible for a claim, you may find it helpful to have the details of how the bedsores may have occurred and any medical information.

If you or someone you know would like to speak to us, entirely in confidence, about any of these issues then please call our head of negligence Michael Shaw on 0800 1 444 111 or email him at michaelshaw@cmsolicitors.co.uk . Alternatively you can use the enquiry form situated at the side or at the foot of this page.