Multidimensional leg ulcer assessment

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Abstract

Anderson I (2012) Multidimensional leg ulcer assessment. Nursing Times; 108: 13, 17-20.

Assessing patients presenting with a leg ulcer is like doing a multidimensional jigsaw puzzle, in which all the pieces need to fit together to make a whole picture that has depth and meaning. This enables rational clinical decisions to be made with patients, according to their capability and agreement to be involved.

This article highlights some of the key features of leg ulcer assessment, drawing on recommendations in national guidelines.

In this article…

▸ Key components of assessment in patients with leg ulcers

In this article…

▸ The importance of thorough assessment to gain a full picture

In this article…

▸ The impact of living with leg ulcers

5 key points

1 The priority is to establish the leg ulcer's aetiology

5 key points

2 It may not be possible to complete an assessment at one time; in these cases it is important to gather information from a range of sources

5 key points

3 People with leg ulcers often have other conditions that may complicate assessment and management

5 key points

4 Baseline assessment should include blood pressure, urinalysis, weight and blood screening according to local protocols and patient presentation

5 key points

5 Wound assessment involves noting the site, size, depth and location of the wound

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