Volume 23, Issue 4 (October 1978)
The Effect of Severe Bedsores on Bone and Its Forensic Implications
Bedsores, also known as decubitus ulcers and pressure sores, are continual problems for the debilitated and disabled but are often not regarded with the seriousness they deserve. Pressure sores arise when localized areas of the body are subjected to prolonged pressure that occludes vascular flow. When blood flow is obstructed for a sufficiently long period, the mechanism of reactive hyperemia cannot compensate for inadequate cell nutrition and soft tissue necrosis begins. Pressure sores develop under bones that are close to the skin, where soft tissues are compressed by concentration of body weight. Particularly vulnerable areas are those over the sacrum, heel, greater trochanter, elbow, lateral and medial malleoli, scapula, and occiput in the bedfast patient and over the ischial tuberosities in the chairfast.