Vulnerable adult


  • Specializes in Cath Lab, Endovascular, ICU, PP, MS. Has 6 years experience.

At work a couple days ago an aide had put a warm pack on the abdomen of a patient. An hour later the Lpn noticed the patient was grimacing and looked to be in severe pain. It turned out the warm pack was too hot and the patient received 2nd degree burns from this. The social worker, DON, Administrator, etc were notified. What happens to the employee after something like this and who does the social worker have to report this to? I've never ran into an incident like this before. Any info would be appreciated.

TazziRN, RN

6,487 Posts

At the very least the aide will receive some remedial teaching about skin safety/integrity. I doubt the social worker will have to notify anyone, unless we're talking about an LTC resident?

Specializes in subacute/ltc.

I'm not familiar with acute care setting policies....However in subacute/LTC...We would have

1. First Aid

2. Call Doctor...make aware....obtain orders for burn sites..possible transfer to ER for eval

3. Call Family

4. Write an incident report, replete with witness statements

5. Provide a 1:1 inservice for the aide relating to the proper application of ice packs and warm packs (in our setting aides can't apply either and we are required to wrap either in a towel/pillow case prior to application)

6. The nurse in question would probably receive a write-up/disciplinary action for allowing or asking the aide to apply the pack.

7. The DON would notify the state.

8. Resident placed on report for three days, site monitoring q shift.

Hope your patient is OK. On Monday I had a resident obtain first degree burns from spilling soup. Fortunately, thanks to an excellent aide, who grabbed me in the moment and the use of blistering and no open areas. Resident doing well.



14 Posts

Specializes in Cath Lab, Endovascular, ICU, PP, MS. Has 6 years experience.

It was a long term care resident. I work over in the subacute part of the building and occasionally get called over to LTC for things like this. The resident is doing ok. Thanks for the replies:) I'm not sure how things go about in LTC.

Specializes in subacute/ltc.


I'm soooooo sorry. Hope they are doing ok. Burns hurt like the dickens. I was emptying out our stock pot once and poured boiling water all over my arm. Fortunately my aunt who worked a burn unit in WWII was there and took great care of me.

Stuff happens, I don't mean that "facetiously". Hope the aide and the nurse don't feel horrid. We all make mistakes.


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