Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Evaluating a bedsore

To evaluate a bedsore, your doctor will:

  • Determine the size and depth of the ulcer
  • Check for bleeding, fluids or debris in the wound that can indicate severe infection
  • Try to detect odors indicating an infection or dead tissue
  • Check the area around the wound for signs of spreading tissue damage or infection
  • Check for other pressure sores on the body

Questions from the doctor

  • When did the pressure sore first appear?
  • What is the degree of pain?
  • Have you had pressure sores in the past?
  • How were they managed, and what was the outcome of treatment?
  • What kind of care assistance is available to you?
  • What is your routine for changing positions?
  • What medical conditions have you been diagnosed with, and what is your current treatment?
  • What is your normal daily diet?
  • How much water and other fluids do you drink each day?


Your doctor may order the following tests:

  • Blood tests to check your health
  • Tissue cultures to diagnose a bacterial or fungal infection in a wound that doesn't heal with treatment or is already at stage IV
  • Tissue cultures to check for cancerous tissue in a chronic, nonhealing wound
Dec. 13, 2014