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Autopsy and Medicine
April 13, 1998

Case of the Month: Complications of Therapy, Nursing Homes, and the Elderly

Randy Hanzlick, MD; and the Autopsy Committee of the College of American Pathologists
Arch Intern Med. 1998;158(7):695-696. doi:10.1001/archinte.158.7.695

FOLLOWING SEVERAL cerebrovascular strokes, an elderly man was placed in a nursing home for long-term care because of his immobility and paresis. Regular sessions in a heated whirlpool were part of his therapeutic regimen. One day, shortly after being placed in the whirlpool, he moaned and thrashed. He was promptly removed from the whirlpool and noted to have erythematous skin extending from the nipples to the feet. The on-call physician was notified and observed blistered and erythematous skin. Treatment consisted of burn wound management, and death occurred several days later from burn wound sepsis.

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