Patient assessment is critical to ensure good wound healing outcomes. A ‘unified patient centred approach’ should be adopted which takes into account the systemic, regional and local factors which may affect wound healing1. It is important to assess the patient and the wound to aid appropriate dressing selection and then accurate treatment interventions can be planned. A multi-disciplinary approach should always be considered1.
At assessment the wound should be measured and the depth of tissue loss expressed as a grade. If the wound is a cavity, then all areas of undermining should be probed, measured and documented. Ideally all wounds should be mapped and photographed. A treatment plan should be selected providing clear rationale for the dressings selected and frequency of dressing changes2
Other sections available:-
1 World Union of Wound Healing Societies (WUWHS) Principles of best practice: Wound Exudate and the role of dressings: A consensus document. London MEP Ltd. 2007
2 Flanagan, M. (1997) A practical framework for wound assessment 2: methods. British Journal of Nursing: 6; 6, 8 - 11
Caveat: The information given is a guide only and should not replace clinical judgement.