Long-Term Care

Defining Pressure Ulcers Under the MDS 3.0

MDS 3.0 Insider, March 22, 2010

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The definitions included in the RAI User’s Manual, Version 3.0, for the four different stages of pressure ulcers are as follows:

  • Stage 1 pressure ulcer: An observable, pressure-related alteration of intact skin, whose indicators as compared to an adjacent or opposite area on the body may include changes in one or more of the following parameters: skin temperature (warmth or coolness); tissue consistency (firm or boggy); sensation (pain, itching); and/or a defined area of persistent redness in lightly pigmented skin, whereas in darker skin tones, the ulcer may appear with persistent red, blue, or purple hues.
  • Stage 2 pressure ulcer: Partial thickness loss of dermis presenting as a shallow open ulcer with a red-pink wound bed, without slough. May also present as an intact or open/ruptured serum-filled blister.
  • Stage 3 pressure ulcer: Full thickness skin loss involving damage to, or necrosis of, subcutaneous tissue that may extend down to, but not through, underlying fascia. The ulcer presents clinically as a deep crater with or without undermining of adjacent tissue.
  • Stage 4 pressure ulcer: Full thickness skin loss with extensive destruction, tissue necrosis, or damage to muscle, bone, or supporting structures (e.g., tendon, joint capsule). Undermining and tunneling also may be associated with stage 4 pressure ulcers.
Source: Pp. M-7 through M-11 of the RAI User’s Manual, Version 3.0.
 



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