Ask the treatment expert: MDS 3.0 and pressure ulcers

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What is xerosis?
What is xerosis?
With the release of the MDS 3.0, we are no longer required to reverse (down) stage pressure ulcers, so how will we be able to prove that the pressure ulcers are getting better?

The demise of reverse staging is an exciting milestone for long-term care. However, it may prove to be challenging for some clinicians. For the last 20 years or more, we have been trained and then trained some more on how to reverse stage pressure ulcers, and as they say, old habits die hard.

Pressure ulcer staging is a classification system for describing the maximum depth of tissue damage that has occurred. It was never designed or intended to demonstrate progress or healing.  Staging is only one component of the overall wound assessment. By tracking and monitoring the specific characteristics of a pressure ulcer over subsequent time frames, improvement or decline can be determined.

To track the progress of a pressure ulcer, weekly assessment and documentation should include:

1. Pressure ulcer stage

2. Pressure ulcer measurements documented in centimeters

3. Percent amount of each tissue type visualized in the wound

4. Color, amount and odor of any drainage

5. Appearance of the wound edges and surrounding tissues

6. Signs, symptoms of infection

The PUSH tool is great resource. (Download it at

Please send your wound treatment-related questions to Donna Sardina at