ABC of wound healing: Wound assessment
- By: Stuart Enoch
Most wounds, of whatever aetiology, heal without difficulty. Some wounds, however, are subject to factors that impede healing, although these do not prevent healing if the wounds are managed appropriately. A minority of wounds will become chronic and non-healing. In these cases the ultimate goal is to control the symptoms and prevent complications, rather than healing the wound.
It is important that the normal processes of developing a diagnostic hypothesis are followed before trying to treat the wound.
A detailed clinical history should include information on the duration of ulcer, previous ulceration, history of trauma, family history of ulceration, ulcer characteristics (site, pain, odour, and exudate or discharge), limb temperature, underlying medical conditions (for example, diabetes mellitus, peripheral vascular disease, ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular accident, neuropathy, connective tissue diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis), varicose veins, deep venous thrombosis), previous venous or arterial surgery, smoking, medications, and allergies to drugs and