Complications of pressure ulcers include:

  • Sepsis. Sepsis occurs when bacteria enter the bloodstream through broken skin and spread throughout the body. It's a rapidly progressing, life-threatening condition that can cause organ failure.
  • Cellulitis. Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and connected soft tissues. It can cause severe pain, redness and swelling. People with nerve damage often do not feel pain with this condition. Cellulitis can lead to life-threatening complications.
  • Bone and joint infections. An infection from a pressure sore can burrow into joints and bones. Joint infections (septic arthritis) can damage cartilage and tissue. Bone infections (osteomyelitis) may reduce the function of joints and limbs. Such infections can lead to life-threatening complications.
  • Cancer. Another complication is the development of a type of squamous cell carcinoma that develops in chronic, nonhealing wounds (Marjolin ulcer). This type of cancer is aggressive and usually requires surgery.
Mar. 25, 2014