Abuse, Physical — Photodocumentation — Clinical Pathway: Emergency, Outpatient Specialty Care and Primary Care

Photo Documentation Tips

General Guidelines

  • Do take photos of any injury visible on physical examination
  • Do photograph each injury separately
  • Do take a photograph of the injury at a distance, followed by a close-up photograph
  • Do NOT take only close-up photos without wider angle photos of each injury.
    • Remember that what appears obvious to you in the room with the patient may not be identifiable to you months or years later.
  • Do review your photographs to be sure that both the injury and body part are identifiable to a provider who has not seen the patient in person
  • Do use a size standard or ruler in close-up photographs
  • Prior to completing exam, please photo document. Confirm that photos accurately represent the finding(s) you are concerned about.

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