Standarized Approach to Evaluating Lower Extremity Chronic Wounds using a Checklist

Abstract: As the population ages and more people live with diabetes, obesity, and vascular disease, chronic wounds have become more prevalent. Increasingly, wound care falls into the hands of clinicians who may be new to the specialty. To facilitate a better understanding of wounds and to ensure all integral items for best outcomes are considered, an interprofessional panel of wound care experts developed a checklist to aid in lower extremity wound identification, assessment, evaluation, and potential complication recognition. This checklist focuses on an evidence-based approach to obtaining a medical history, evaluating the wound, determining the etiology, and assessing perfusion, edema, infection, and neurologic status. The goal of this fundamental evaluation tool is to help the clinician move towards the next steps in optimizing patient care. Evidence-based support for each item on the checklist is reviewed and detailed for clinician reference.