Clinical Approach to Chronic Wound Management in Older Adults

Wahila Alam MD; Jonathan Hasson MD, MBA; May Reed MD


J Am Geriatr Soc. 2021;69(8):2327-2334. 

In This Article

Wound Assessment

Wound assessment not only consists of measuring and monitoring clinical features of the wound, but also recording risk factors and elements important in helping or hindering wound healing. A comprehensive wound assessment includes knowledge of patient co-morbidities, medication use, nutritional status, mobility, and continence. The wound measurement includes noting the size (length, width, depth) as well as wound characteristics such as drainage, odor, presence of slough/necrotic tissue, infection, and condition of the wound bed. There is no standardized method established for wound measurement. Currently, there are various techniques ranging from the simple to the more complex; for example, ruler measurements, acetate tracing, contact/digital planimetry, as well as structured light devices; to measure wounds. Many of these methods would be considered three-dimensional as they measure depth as well as width and length.[35] The same method should be used for monitoring a wound over time to reduce variability in reporting. Particular attention should be given to features such as undermining, tunneling, and wound edges.