Waterlow risk assessment chart


Adapted Waterlow Pressure Area Risk Assessment Chart

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How to use this tool well

  • Use this tool together with your clinical judgement.
  • An indication of risk should be followed with action.  

The primary aim of this tool is to assist you to assess risk of a patient/client developing a pressure ulcer. Use this together with your clinical judgement.
The Waterlow consists of seven items: build/weight, height, visual assessment of the skin, sex/age, continence, mobility, and appetite, and special risk factors, divided into tissue malnutrition, neurological deficit, major surgery/trauma, and medication.

The tool identifies three 'at risk' categories, 

  1.  a score of 10-14 indicates 'at risk'
  2.  a score of 15-19 indicates 'high risk', and
  3.  a score of 20 and above indicates very high risk.


Judy Waterlow

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Published Date: 17/03/2009