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Ostomy Wound Manage. 2009 Sep 15;55(9):40-4.

Kennedy terminal ulcer: the "ah-ha!" moment and diagnosis.

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The Kennedy Terminal Ulcer (KTU) is an unavoidable skin breakdown or skin failure that occurs as part of the dying process. Research is limited but the literature suggests that KTUs are typically pear-shaped, red/yellow/black, similar in appearance to an abrasion, and tend to occur suddenly in the sacral/coccygeal region not long before death. In this case study, one resident of a long-term care facility suddenly developed a full-thickness ulcer. The ulcer did not respond to treatment and the resident died 6 weeks following ulcer development. Another resident, admitted with a full-thickness ulcer, also did not respond to standard measures of care and general skin failure was observed. She died after 5 months. Research about end-of-life phenomena such as skin failure is needed to help clinicians, caregivers, and patients understand what is occurring and facilitate the provision of optimal and appropriate end-of-life care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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