Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Debridement and Lower-extremity Ulcers

  • Lower-extremity ulcers, such as black eschar on heels, or pressure injuries in people who are gravely palliative with dry eschar need not be debrided if they do not exhibit signs and symptoms of infection, edema, erythema, fluctuance, or drainage.
  • These wounds should be assessed daily to monitor for complications (e.g., bacterial burden/damage) that would require debridement.
  • Prior to debridement of lower-extremity ulcers, it is critical to assess for vascular compromise in the lower limbs.
  • Debridement should only be performed when there is sufficient tissue perfusion to the pressure injuries.
Clinical Management
Assessment and Management of Pressure Injuries for the Interprofessional Team, Third Edition
Point of Care Resources