In my role as a legal nurse consultant, I have recently reviewed four pressure injury cases, all involving individuals who are non-Caucasian. Over the years, I have accumulated a valuable collection of literature related to various topics and areas of expertise, and my Zotero library is a prized resource I frequently rely on for my legal research. Analyzing pressure injury cases in individuals with diverse skin tones adds complexity to each case, prompting me to conduct a literature search to expand my knowledge in this area.

During my search, I came across a significant find – a monograph published in Wounds International titled “International Consensus Document, Wound Care and Skin Tone – Signs, symptoms, and terminology for all skin tones.” This document is an essential resource that I want to share with my colleagues and potential clients.

Before I delve further into this topic, I’d like to digress for a moment. I recently had a discussion with a marketing expert who posed a crucial question about my blogging – “Who is your target audience? Who are you writing for?” I believe my writings are relevant to both my colleagues and potential clients. My content-driven blogs may be valuable to other legal nurse consultants as they offer insights into the finer points of pressure injury prevention and treatment that can make a significant difference. These same posts are also relevant to potential attorney clients as they touch upon niche areas of evidence crucial to the analysis of certain cases. For these potential clients, this information is valuable in supporting their cases. An expert who is knowledgeable about the intricacies of wound healing, including etiology, assessment, risk profile analysis, and care planning, is a valuable resource. In summary, the information I share holds value for both my LNC colleagues and potential clients.

Now, let’s explore the importance of skin tone in deconstructing cases involving pressure injuries. Categorizing pressure injuries can be complex due to various factors. Among them, the expertise of the clinician plays a significant role in affecting the identification and assessment of a pressure injury, particularly regarding the presentation of the evolving etiology. After a wound occurs or the triggering event initiates a cascade of wounding, one parameter for assessment is the color of the wounded area compared to the surrounding skin. In individuals with darkly pigmented skin or any skin tone other than Caucasian, nuances in color can make detection challenging. Identifying changes in hue or degrees of color variation can be particularly difficult in such cases.

The literature on the color and pigmentation of skin in relation to pressure injuries is continually growing. However, due to differences in research methodologies, comparing findings and drawing conclusions from the existing literature can be challenging. This is precisely why I am enthusiastic about the new Consensus Document I discovered. Authored by a diverse group of global professionals, it aims to address these gaps by providing practical guidance on inclusive language, assessment, and treatment for all skin tones, ultimately improving patient outcomes. Their approach also emphasizes the consideration of geographical and cultural factors, dispelling myths, and focusing on education for the future.

Within this Consensus Document, you will find resources like “The Skin Tone Tool,” a validated classification tool presenting a range of six skin tones, which can be matched to the individual’s inner aspect of their upper arm. The use of this tool allows for a more refined assessment that goes beyond simplistic categorizations of light and dark skin.

Wound care and skin tone: Signs, symptoms and terminology for all skin tones – Wounds International

I highly recommend that you click on the link above for a copy of this Consensus Document, which is available as a downloadable PDF at no cost thanks to Wounds International. Remember, skin tone is a crucial factor in any case under legal review. Consider how an individual’s skin color may impact the clinical course of pressure injury prevention and treatment. The awareness of skin tone should become a contributing aspect of your case analyses going forward.

Thanks for allowing me to share this information! Have a great day.

Cindy Sylvia