Children of recently deceased residents are often shocked at the condition of their parent’s skin. Commonly, the nursing home is blamed. In most instances this blame is misplaced.
Resident’s of Nursing Homes who are nearing death often have chronic, severe illnesses, such as multiple cardiovascular issues, causing skin breakdown prior to their admission. As resident’s body progresses towards death, a stage II ulcer can abruptly deteriorate into a Kennedy Terminal Ulcer (“KTU”). As wound care experts explain, a KTU is an ulcer that some people develop as they are dying. KTU’s primarily start off as a blister or a stage II ulcer and suddenly, in some cases within a matter of hours, progress to a late stage ulcer. KTUs will not heal despite any treatments due to the patient’s underlying medical conditions and the process of the body shutting down. A KTU can be present for up to six weeks prior to a patient’s death ultimately worsening as the patient’s condition continues to deteriorate.
In the end, its not a lack of care that caused the KTU, it is the dying process.