Wound Classification


Wound Classification:

  1. Abrasion : a superficial injury.
  2. Laceration : a tearing of skin and under laying tissues as result of the application of blunt force, the edge of wounds are ragged, irregular and frequently bruised.
  3. Incised wound : is caused by a weapon with sharp cutting edge drawn across the skin, the margins are clean cut, without any bruising.
  4. Punctured wound: is the result of pointed object being driven through the skin. E.g. nail foot injury, knife injury.
  5. Perforated wound: if the sharp objects exit through the body on the other side. The wound is small in length and width but it is quite deep. Internal damage is extensive if the wound is on the abdomen.
  6. Contusion : (Bruise) it is a result of blunt trauma, causes rupture of capillary and infiltration of blood into the tissue. Superficial contusion is red, swollen immediately; a deep contusion may be not evident on one or two days. Color change to blue in one day, brown in 2-4 days, green in 5-7 days, yellow in 8-10 days and disappears in 15 days.
  7. Gunshot wound : is a small circular wound causing by a bullet.

Classification by Sterility

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Guidelines for prevention of surgical site infection” identifies four surgical wound classifications.


  • an uninfected surgical wound in which no inflammation is encountered and the respiratory, alimentary, genital, or uninfected urinary tracts are not entered.
  • clean wounds are primarily closed and, if necessary, drained with closed drainage.
  • Surgical wound incisions that are made after nonpenetrating (ie, blunt) trauma should be included in this category if they meet the criteria.


  • a surgical wound in which the respiratory, alimentary, genital, or urinary tracts are entered under controlled conditions and without unusual contamination.
  • Specifically, surgical procedures involving the biliary tract, appendix, vagina, and oropharynx are included in this category, provided no evidence of infection is encountered and no major break in technique occurs.


  • open, fresh, accidental wounds.
  • surgical procedures in which a major break in sterile technique occurs (eg, open cardiac massage) or there is gross spillage from the gastrointestinal tract and incisions in which acute, nonpurulent inflammation is encountered are included in this category.


  • old traumatic wounds with retained or devitalized tissue and those that involve existing clinical infection or perforated viscera.
  •  This definition suggests that the organisms causing postoperative infection were present in the wound before the surgical procedure.

Martin, Glenn and Porth, Carol, Mattson. 2009. Pathophysiology Concepts of Altered Health States. 8th ed. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Philadelphia


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