- Confirm patient has written consent for wound photographs on approved hospital consent form. [This could apply to any medical photograph and any location, ie office.]
- Explain procedure to the patient and/or caregiver.
- Place camera case on hard, clean surface, avoiding floor or patient care items.
- Record patient information on customized photo label to include patient initials, medical record number, date, wound number, and location. [Body part or hemangioma or nevus could substitute for wound.]
- Place the patient in a comfortable position to expose the wound for picture. [Use consistency of position as suggested in pdf from ASPRS for photography in plastic surgery.]
- Apply customized photo label to the border of the wound for photograph. [Could do this for nevi or skin lesion photos, but not for breast/abdomen photos.]
- Wash hand and remove camera from carrying case while maintaining appropriate infection control practices. Avoid using gloves when handling camera.
- Use an appropriate backdrop. Photograph patients against a solid-colored background. Light to medium blue is a good choice because it contrasts well with skin tones. Medium gray
may also work well. Use a fabric drape or other non-reflective material.
- Remove distractions. Jewelry and clothing create an unnecessary distraction in patient photos. They should be removed from the area of interest prior to photography.For
body photos, it is advisable to use special modesty garments (available from medical supply dealers) instead of the patient’s underwear.
- Use controlled lighting. Patients should be photographed using a flash system or studio strobes (available room lighting is not appropriate). Balanced cross-lighting (i.e., two strobes positioned symmetrically on either side of the camera) brings out surface texture without creating shadows that are overly harsh.
- Reduce cast shadows. The use of balanced lighting with diffusers can soften the shadows cast by the patient.To completely eliminate cast shadows, one or two additional lights may be aimed directly at the backdrop.
- Record settings. As much as possible, the same camera settings should be used for every patient. For settings that must be adjusted from patient to patient (such as exposure compensation), all values should be recorded, stored with the photos and referenced during post-op photography.