Wounds may be classified by several methods; their aetiology, location, type of injury or senting symptoms, wound depth and tissue loss or clinical appearance of the wound. Separate grading tools exist for Pressure Ulcers (EPUAP), Burns (Rule of Nines), Diabetic Foot Ulcers (Wagner/ San Antonio) and General Wounds.
According to level of contamination, a wound can be classified as:
Clean wound – made under sterile conditions where there are no organisms present, and the skin is likely to heal without complications.
Contaminated wound – usually resulting from accidental injury; there are pathogenic organisms and foreign bodies in the wound.
Infected wound – the wound has pathogenic organisms present and multiplying, exhibiting clinical signs of infection (yellow appearance, soreness, redness, oozing pus).
Colonized wound – a chronic situation, containing pathogenic organisms, difficult to heal (i.e. bedsore), wound bed; i.e. black – necrotic and the respective amount of each expressed as a percentage.