Pressure Sores | Complications


What if the sore gets infected?

Pressure sores that become infected heal more slowly and can spread a dangerous infection to the rest of your body. If you notice any of the signs of infection listed below, call your doctor right away.

Signs of an infected pressure sore include the following:

  • Thick yellow or green pus
  • A bad smell from the sore
  • Redness or warmth around the sore
  • Swelling around the sore
  • Tenderness around the sore

Signs that the infection may have spread include the following:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Mental confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Weakness

How are infected pressure sores treated?

The treatment of an infected pressure sore depends on how bad the infection is. If only the sore itself is infected, an antibiotic ointment can be put on the sore. When bone or deeper tissue is infected, antibiotics are often required. They can be given intravenously (through a needle put in a vein) or orally (by mouth).

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 01/12
Created: 09/00