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April 1994

Definitions and Guidelines for Assessment of Wounds and Evaluation of Healing

Author Affiliations

From the Dean's Office, University of California—Davis (Dr Lazarus); Department of Surgery and School of Nursing (Dr Cooper) and the Division of Plastic Surgery (Dr Robson), University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston; Center for Wound Healing and Reparative Medicine, University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic, Minneapolis (Dr Knighton); Department of Dermatology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (Dr Margolis); Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle (Dr Pecoraro); and Plastic Surgery Research, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville (Dr Rodeheaver).

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(4):489-493. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690040093015

Background:  Chronic wounds represent a worldwide problem. For laboratory and clinical research to adequately address this problem, a common language needs to exist.

Observation:  This language should include a system of wound classification, a lexicon of wound descriptors, and a description of the processes that are likely to affect wound healing and wound healing end points.

Conclusions:  The report that follows defines wound, acute wound, chronic wound, healing and forms of healing, wound assessment, wound extent, wound burden, and wound severity. The utility of these definitions is demonstrated as they relate to the healing of a skin wound, but these definitions are broadly applicable to all wounds.(Arch Dermatol. 1994;130:489-493)