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Understanding how Kennedy Terminal Ulcers differs from bedsores

Residents in Maryland nursing homes may develop bedsores. Short staffing and undertrained employees are blamed for these incidents, and the eldercare industry hasn’t figured out how to eliminate the problem. Nursing home bedsores occur when a patient remains in the same position for extended periods or from limited blood flow to the skin.

When sheets or clothing rub against the skin, it causes friction that results in bedsores. These injuries are painful to older patients and easily become infected.

What looks like bedsores could be Kennedy Terminal Ulcers. These wounds appear as red or black patches on the skin and develop within a few hours, much faster than bedsores. These ulcers occur as a precursor to the final weeks of life of the patient.

Kennedy Terminal Ulcers are often confused with bedsores because of their similar appearance. Kennedy Terminal Ulcers were named in 1989. Also known as the 3:30 syndrome because they’re likely to show up on the skin during mid-day hours.

Nursing Home Bedsores versus Kennedy Terminal Ulcers

A better understanding of Kennedy Terminal Ulcers will help the patient care staff best care for the declining patient. Since these ulcers signal the final weeks of life, focusing on palliative care is vital to the patient and their family.

The skin is the body’s largest organ, and as the body’s deterioration increases, bruising or ulcers begin to occur on the sacrum, lower back, heels, arms, or elbows. The ulcers have a butterfly or irregular shape, might appear red, black, or yellow, depending on the severity of the wound.

Kennedy Terminal Ulcers are usually not preventable but keeping the skin clean and dry helps keep the patient more comfortable. Bedsores are prone to bed or chair- ridden patients and typically develop over weeks, not hours like Kennedy Terminal Ulcers.