Wound Classifications

Diane Krasner's picture
wound care documentation

By Diane L. Krasner, PhD, RN, FAAN

Scope of Practice and Standards of Practice guide nurses and other members of the interprofessional wound care team in caring for patients with wounds. Documentation in the medical record is a key aspect of the standard of practice and serves to record the care delivered to the patient or resident. Your documentation should follow your facility guideline for documentation. Accurate documentation helps to improve patient safety, outcomes, and quality of care.

This WoundSource Trending Topic blog considers general wound documentation dos and don'ts and presents 10 tips for success. Good, better, and best documentation examples are included for each tip.

WoundSource Editors's picture

By the WoundSource Editors

Before the mid-1990s, venous disorders and disease were classified almost solely on clinical appearance, which failed to achieve diagnostic precision or reproducible treatment results. In response to this, the American Venous Forum developed a classification system in 1994, which was revised in 2004. This classification system has gained widespread acceptance across the clinical and medical research communities, and most published papers now use all or part of the CEAP system (defined in the next section). This system was once again updated in 2020.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
The Inflammatory Phase of Wound Healing

By the WoundSource Editors

Wound healing is a complex biological process that involves a sequence of molecular and cellular events to restore damaged tissue. These events occur within the extracellular matrix, a complex three-dimensional acellular environment that is present within all tissue and essential for life. Remodeling within this extracellular matrix is necessary for tissue repair throughout the wound healing process, including during the inflammatory phase.

Kara Couch's picture
Frequently Asked Questions

By Kara S. Couch, MS, CRNP, CWCN-AP

Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPUs) pose a challenge for acute and post-acute care environments and are listed as hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Other HACs include central line–associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). Although CLABSIs and CAUTIs have seen a decrease in prevalence over the past decade, the HAPU is the only HAC that has not. In my recent WoundSource webinar, I discussed the topic of building a pressure ulcer prevention program within hospitals. The webinar is still available for viewing on WoundSource.com.

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WoundSource Editors's picture
Ulcerative Wounds

By the WoundSource Editors

Ulcers in the lower extremities are more common in patients older than 65. Ulcerative wound types include venous, arterial, diabetic neuropathic, and pressure. To identify ulcer types, these wounds should be examined thoroughly for their distinct characteristics such as location and shape, as well as in conjunction with other patient information, to ensure an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

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WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Management of Surgical Wounds

By the WoundSource Editors

Wounds resulting from surgical procedures have many commonalities with wounds of other etiologies. However, there are a few notable differences in their classification, as well as in the recommended care practices that promote the healing of these wounds. In understanding these differences, it is important to understand the classification of surgical wounds.

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WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Surgical Wound Healing

By the WoundSource Editors

The number of surgical procedures performed in the United States has been increasing annually by as much as 300% over a 10-year period. Although technological advances in surgical procedures have allowed some procedures to be performed using minimally invasive techniques, many operations still require incisions, which require special care to prevent dehiscence and surgical site infections (SSIs). SSIs occur in 2% to 4% of all patients undergoing surgical procedures, and they are among the most expensive inpatient harms, adding approximately $30,000 to the total hospital cost per infection.

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WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Classification Systems for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

By the WoundSource Editors

In patients with diabetes, the lifetime risk of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) is approximately 25%, and these wounds are frequently a source of pain and discomfort. Severe cases can even result in amputation of a portion of or the entire affected extremity. Proper classification of DFUs is essential for selecting the appropriate treatment course and coordinating care for the patient. Several systems are frequently used in classifying DFUs, although there is no universally agreed-on standard.

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Cheryl Carver's picture
Case Scenarios: Wound Documentation

By Cheryl Carver, LPN, WCC, CWCA, CWCP, DAPWCA, FACCWS, CLTC – Wound Educator

Auditing documentation has always been part of my wound nurse role in some way or another. My first experience with auditing documentation with a fine-tooth comb was while working in the hospital wound center setting as a hyperbaric oxygen technician. Back then, hyperbaric oxygen therapy was more difficult to get reimbursed, and there were a lot of Medicare appeals. I would search through stacks of documentation to find validation for the diagnosis specific to the hyperbaric oxygen therapy indication. I quickly found out how ONE word determined reimbursement, and we are not talking pennies. The documentation is either there or it isn’t. Wound care documentation also requires the same impeccable documentation. Reimbursement is driven by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines. We must follow the rules, or we do not get paid.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
biofilm development stages

by the WoundSource Editors

Advancements in molecular microbiology, microscopy technology, and techniques for study of bacteria have increased the ability to identify the existence of biofilms, but there still remains the unknown, such as differentiating between planktonic bacteria and biofilm.1 Chronic non-healing wounds harbor bacteria across the wound etiology classification.2–4 Malone et al. determined that the prevalence of biofilms in chronic wounds was 78.2% (confidence interval, 61.6–89, P < 0.002).2 The development of biofilms moves through a common pattern: attachment, microcolony formation, maturation, and dispersion. The initial attachment is reversible, but the attachment becomes stronger as cells multiply and change their gene expressions. This cell communication process is referred to as quorum sensing, allowing cells to survive.