Early Skin Temperature Characteristics of the Kennedy Lesion (Kennedy Terminal Ulcer)

Link for the full article: https://www.hmpgloballearningnetwork.com/site/wmp/original-research/early-skin-temperature-characteristics-kennedy-lesion-kennedy-terminal

Karen Lou Kennedy-Evans, RN, FNP, APRN-BC1; Deanna Vargo, BSN, RN, CWS, FACCWS, CWOCN2; Leslie Ritter, PhD, RN3; Diane Adams, BSN, RN, CWCN4; Suzanne Koerner, BSN, RN, CWOCN4; Ellen Duell, APRN, CWOCN, ACNS-BC5


BACKGROUND: Pressure injuries are associated with skin temperature changes, but little is known about skin temperature characteristics of the Kennedy Lesion (KL). PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to describe early skin temperature changes in KLs using long-wave infrared thermography. METHODS: KLs were identified from chart review in 10 ICU patients. Skin assessments were performed within 24 hours of new skin discoloration.  Temperature measurements were performed using a long-wave infrared thermography imaging system. Relative Temperature Differential (RTD) between the discolored area and a selected control point was calculated.  RTDs of > +1.2 °C and < -1.2 °C were considered abnormal. Demographic data and observable characteristics of the KL were collected when available.  Descriptive statistics (Mean +/- SD; %) were used. RESULTS: The major finding of this study was that there were no early skin temperature differences between the KLs and surrounding skin. CONCLUSION: The early stage of the KL may be limited to microvascular injury which results in a normal skin temperature. More studies are needed to verify this finding and to ascertain whether KL skin temperature changes over time. The study also supports the bedside use of thermography in skin temperature assessment.