Here’s something you might not know about wounds and how they heal: by accurately measuring a wound and plotting its sizing over time you can accurately predict the trajectory of wound healing. Smaller wounds mean quicker healing, according to studies. Plus, when you add in variables like exudate, the presence of necrotic tissue, granulation tissue, and slough, you can truly get a grasp on what it takes to heal the wound and how long it will take to heal the wound. So, in this article we’re going to explore some tips and tricks for accurately measuring a wound. We’ll also take a look at some of the variables that exist and how you can work around them to take accurate measurements.
Methods for Measuring Wounds
What are the most frequently used methods for measuring wounds? Let’s lay them out here.
Measure the Length and Width
Simply measure the wound by taking a look at the greatest length and the greatest width of the wound. You can see if the wound is healing by taking a look at the measured length and width over time. If the wound is shrinking, it’s healing.
The Clock Method
Use the face of a clock to guide your measurement. A clock features times, from 12:00 o’clock to 6:00 o’clock and beyond. How big is the wound? Does it span from 12:00 and 6:00 or perhaps from 9:00 and 3:00?
Take photos to measure the progress of a wound. This needs to be done with measuring tape in order to see the true progress of a wound. This is the method seen often in medical offices. It is a great way to keep track of progress.
Tracing the Wound
You can trace the outside of a wound directly onto a piece of transparent film. Then, to view the wound’s progress, simply put one transparent film on top of the next. The photos can be taken weekly or monthly. This method will require transparent film and an overhead projector, which aren’t exactly easy or cheap to find.
The Most Important Technique: Stay Consistent with Wound Measurement
What’s the most important thing to know about wound measurement? Keep it consistent! Consistency is key when it comes to wound measurement and healing. More than using any particular method of documentation, it’s important to measure the wound often – don’t do it willy nilly. Medical professionals recommend that you commit to measuring the wound once a week. No matter the method you use, use it consistently. Probably the easiest and most effective methods for at-home measurement are the clock method and measuring and recording the wound. That’s because these methods don’t require expensive tools that are hard to find outside of medical facilities. Everything needed is readily available at home. Which method do you think is best? Why? Which method works best for your household?
Keep This In Mind
Whatever method you use, make sure to keep these facts in mind.
- When you measure the length of a wound your ruler needs to extend over the longest length of the wound.
- The same is true when measuring the width. Make sure you look for the widest part of the wound and measure from there.
- Special Tip for Measuring the Feet – When measuring foot and toe wounds, keep in mind the toes are at 6:00 and the heels are at 12:00.
- Wound length should always be measured in centimeters or cm.
- Length and width may vary. The length of the wound may be smaller than width
- Carefully document your findings
- Make sure to note your method of measurement.
- Consider graphing serial measurements for the best view.
Contact Wound Care OC for wound treatment in Orange County, CA
Dr. Faried Banimahd is a board-certified physician specializing in emergency medicine, wound care, and pain management. Our team will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan that meets your needs and unique conditions. Our clinic includes highly trained and experienced physicians, registered nurses, and certified medical staff who work together to provide you with the highest standards of wound care treatments.