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View Full Version : Explain pitting edema please


Joyful Tie Dyes
10-05-2009, 08:22 PM
That is all! Thanks!

MommyKeller0107
10-05-2009, 08:29 PM
Pitting Edema : When an area is swollen (like your legs) and you can push your finger into the swelling, and a "pit" stays where you pressed in.

Link (http://www.medicinenet.com/edema/article.htm#pitting)

~Ryleigh's_Momma~
10-05-2009, 09:24 PM
what are you wanting to know? what it is? what causes it?

it usually has to do with lowered kidney function. due to kidney failure or an increased load on your kidneys (such as in pregnancy, when your body is trying to process an increased amount of fluid)
Basically it is fluids leaking out into your interstitial spaces (think, between your veins and your skin) It starts off causing slight swelling, getting worse and worse, until like a PP said, there is so much fluid you can press your finger in and the pit stays. It can then progress as far as your skin actually "weeping" the fluids out through the skin (I have only seen this in kidney failure and near death, never in pregnancy)

when they are assessing your edema, if you hear them say a number behind it, it is the number of seconds it takes for the "pit" to fill back in. So if it takes 2 seconds, 2 is the "score" of the edema, and the higher the number, the more severity of the edema


make sense?

Mom23kids
10-06-2009, 12:31 AM
what are you wanting to know? what it is? what causes it?

it usually has to do with lowered kidney function. due to kidney failure or an increased load on your kidneys (such as in pregnancy, when your body is trying to process an increased amount of fluid)
Basically it is fluids leaking out into your interstitial spaces (think, between your veins and your skin) It starts off causing slight swelling, getting worse and worse, until like a PP said, there is so much fluid you can press your finger in and the pit stays. It can then progress as far as your skin actually "weeping" the fluids out through the skin (I have only seen this in kidney failure and near death, never in pregnancy)

when they are assessing your edema, if you hear them say a number behind it, it is the number of seconds it takes for the "pit" to fill back in. So if it takes 2 seconds, 2 is the "score" of the edema, and the higher the number, the more severity of the edema


make sense?

All true, except IME the "score" has to do with how far the indentation goes. 1+ is up to 1/4 inch, 2+ is 1/4 to 1/2, 3+ is 1/2 to 3/4, and 4+ is up to 1 inch. This is how we chart it on my floor, at least. I have seen 4+ edema and the indentations can stay in the tissue for minutes! Craziest thing I've ever seen!

~Ryleigh's_Momma~
10-06-2009, 07:51 AM
All true, except IME the "score" has to do with how far the indentation goes. 1+ is up to 1/4 inch, 2+ is 1/4 to 1/2, 3+ is 1/2 to 3/4, and 4+ is up to 1 inch. This is how we chart it on my floor, at least. I have seen 4+ edema and the indentations can stay in the tissue for minutes! Craziest thing I've ever seen!

oh really? huh! I've always known it to be done by counting the seconds. I know I'm not the only one to do it that way, because sometimes several of us will stand and count to get a consensus if one of us is having a hard time determining. It must be a regional thing? I wonder if the seconds it takes to refill also correlates with how deep it is? Like, if it takes 2 seconds to refill, it will also be 2 inches deep? I have also seen cases where you described, where it's taken many minutes to refill, and in those cases it is just called "four plus edema" meaning longer than 4 seconds to refill, and anything that takes longer than that (whether it be 5 seconds or 5 minutes) is called 4+
I will have to do some comparing the next time I do it! I have to say, I feel like I would have a really hard time trying to estimate the depth in inches.


anyway, don't mean to derail the thread!

Joyful Tie Dyes
10-06-2009, 07:57 AM
okay so I experience some pitting if say I have my ankles crossed for a while but not if I just press with my finger. If I press with my finger it fills right in but if I allow something to press for say 10-15 minutes it will stay dented at least that long...

momofdolls
10-06-2009, 08:05 AM
pitting edema is usually judged by pressing the finger for a second or two. Most of us, even when not swollen (or pg) will have some indents from sitting like that for a while. (I sit on an ankle and have marks on the back of my thigh, or if my foot rests on the edge of the chair and it leaves a dent - but I don't think these count since they're caused by continuous pressure.) Does that make sense? or did I just make it worse?

Joyful Tie Dyes
10-06-2009, 11:42 AM
Thank you that helps!

mgl
10-06-2009, 01:30 PM
All true, except IME the "score" has to do with how far the indentation goes. 1+ is up to 1/4 inch, 2+ is 1/4 to 1/2, 3+ is 1/2 to 3/4, and 4+ is up to 1 inch. This is how we chart it on my floor, at least. I have seen 4+ edema and the indentations can stay in the tissue for minutes! Craziest thing I've ever seen!

This is the way we determine it as well, by the depth, not the time.:2cents:

jennym91005
10-06-2009, 10:06 PM
All true, except IME the "score" has to do with how far the indentation goes. 1+ is up to 1/4 inch, 2+ is 1/4 to 1/2, 3+ is 1/2 to 3/4, and 4+ is up to 1 inch. This is how we chart it on my floor, at least. I have seen 4+ edema and the indentations can stay in the tissue for minutes! Craziest thing I've ever seen!

yeah that :thumbsup:

amcess721
10-07-2009, 09:15 AM
Here's my personal experience with pitting edema 2 summers ago. Yucky and uncomfortable.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_gaHkmleDbVs/RtB9PhHiXiI/AAAAAAAAAHs/_ni4C8i7Srg/s320/swollen+feet+3.jpg

sammyjune
10-08-2009, 09:26 PM
Yes, I've been taught depth, not time for pitting scale as well.

However, the new recommendation and how they teach it in school is to not use a scale at all, precisely because it is so inconsistent. Instead, you're supposed to chart how far up the leg it goes, i.e. pitting edema to midcalf, to knees, etc. Funny how things change. :)

KaysieW003
10-08-2009, 09:37 PM
Pitting edema is the accumulation of fluid in the tissue. The "pitting" part basically means how deep the pit goes when you push in. Judging from your picture I would call that 2-3+ pitting edema. It is measured in millimeters and 1+ is trace, 4+ is very deep. :thumbsup: The more edema you have the higher the risk of it actually weeping some of the fluid out. Not good!

MommyKeller0107
10-09-2009, 03:49 PM
Weird... The score we're taught for edema of any kind is 1+ to 4+... depending on the amount / location of the edema, regardless of if it is pitting or not. Then, if pitting, it is 2+ pitting edema, etc.. instead of just 2+ edema.