Information for use in indentifying, treating and understanding the kennedy terminal ulcer

Testimonials

Testimonial

Dear Karen,

Thank you so much for the information you sent on the Kennedy Ulcer, it was very helpful. Our resident passes away this morning but the family was better prepared. Thanks to you.

Sincerely,

Kathy M. Hutchins, RN
Assistant Administrator
Morehead Nursing Center
Eden , NC 27288

Testimonial

Dear Karen,

One of the most difficult times a family can experience is when they must admit that they can no longer care for a loved one at home. The realization that someone you love requires more care than you can provide or that the fragile health goes beyond the families capabilities often results in grief and loss that is overwhelming. A few weeks ago one of our resident's health began to decline and during routine assessment the nurse identified an area as being a Kennedy ulcer. I wrote to you and asked if you could fax me any information on the Kennedy ulcer. We were fortunate to attend a conference where the Kennedy ulcer was discussed and the participants brought the information back and shared it with our entire nursing staff.The information you sent I shared with our family members, they were very appreciative of the information. The identification of the ulcer and the ability to share the information with the family enabled them to be better prepared for the following weeks. Our resident passed away less than three weeks after the ulcer was identified but the family took time to share with me that it meant so much for them to be better prepared, it allowed them to experience closure and know that they had helped make her last days comfortable. During this time we had our annual DFS survey and the RN Surveyors had not heard about the Kennedy ulcer! We had an opportunity to share this information with them as well! Our philosophy here at Morehead Nursing Center is to provide our residents and families with information and knowledge that is needed to make good decisions, open communication is vital to providing good care. Thank you again for all of your help.

Kathy M. Hutchins, RN
Assistant Administrator
Morehead Nursing Center
Eden , NC 27288

Testimonial

I am currently a senior nursing student at the State University of New York at Buffalo. I first heard of the Kennedy Terminal Ulcer on a listserv I was on for a class project. Never hearing of the KTU before, I started to do research on it. I found that it was a breakdown of the skin. However, not in the form of a pressure ulcer, but in the sense that the skin has stopped working prior to death. I have not had the chance to see this on an actual patient, but I have seen pictures of the ulcer. I am sure that theknowledge I have gained about the KTU will help me while practicing in the future. I will be prepared to teach my colleagues about this uncommon skin breakdown. I have found, in talking with fellow students, faculty, and nurses in practice, that many health professionals have never heard of this.I think it is important to educate health professionals about the KTU. If the breakdown is a precursor to death, knowing exactly what it is when it appears can help to identify the patient's last days. It will also help if nurses can differentiate between the KTU and a decubitus ulcer. Decubitus ulcers can cost institutions millions of dollars per year. There could be many KTUs going misdiagnosed as decubitus ulcers. I believe it would benefit all parties involved to educate health professional about the Kennedy Terminal Ulcer.

Melissa Scheib
University at Buffalo
School of Nursing
NSO Recording Secretary
scheib@acsu.buffalo.edu

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