Cutaneous Anomalies of the Critically Ill Patient

Author(s): Melania Howell, DNP, RN, AGCNS-BC, CWOCN, DAPWCA, Salomé Loera, DNP, ACCNS-AG, PCCN, CCRN-CMC Holly Kirkland-Kyhn, PhD, FNP-C, GNP-C, CWCN, FAANPshock

Contact Hours 1.00

CERP A 1.00

Expires May 25, 2025

Topics: Skin/Wound Care

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

Added to Collection

Activity Summary

Required reading for all learners: Implicit Bias impacts patient outcomes

Critically ill patients are at high risk for organ failure, including that of the integumentary system. Nurses working in intensive care are adept at performing comprehensive assessments that include the skin. Although pressure injury is a well-known complication associated with critical illness, patients may also have debilitating and life-threatening dermatoses. Conditions such as skin failure and medical adhesive–related skin damage are commonly seen in the critically ill. Infectious processes, such as Fournier gangrene, invasive candidiasis, mucormycosis, and herpetic lesions, can result in severe or superimposed critical illness and elude detection. Similarly, cutaneous manifestations of COVID-19 may develop prior to commonly recognized symptoms of infection. Nurses and providers caring for critically ill patients should be aware of common, but less widely known, skin conditions to facilitate early detection and treatment.


  • State at least one cutaneous disease or condition that may appear in the critically ill patient
  • Identify at least two features of a cutaneous anomaly that may appear in the critically ill patient
  • Describe the pathophysiologic process of at least one cutaneous anomaly that may appear in the critically ill patient

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


This activity has been reviewed by the Nurse Planner. It has been determined that the material presented here shows no bias. No conflicts of interest have been identified for any individual with the ability to influence the content of this activity. Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing education only and does not imply AACN or ANCC approval or endorsement of any commercial products discussed or displayed in conjunction with this educational activity.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC's) Commission on Accreditation, ANCC Provider Number 0012. AACN has been approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the California State Board of Nursing (CBRN), California Provider number CEP 1036. This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours.

AACN programming meets the standards for most states that require mandatory continuing education contact hours for license and/or certification renewal. AACN recommends consulting with your state board of nursing or credentialing organization before submitting CE to fulfill continuing education requirements.

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