Acute skin failure is a significant medical finding for both the critical care patient and the hospital. Proper identification is key to prevention and treatment, but diagnosis of acute skin failure in critical care patients is often missed. This diagnostic oversight may be due to a lack of knowledge about acute skin failure and its presentation.


To investigate the literature for facilitating factors that would ease the identification of acute skin failure for clinicians.


The research team conducted a systematic literature review via PubMed, CINAHL, and Academic Search Ultimate to collect data about acute skin failure and how it might be identified.


Ten common facilitation themes around acute skin failure and its identification were found in the literature. In total, 110 examples of facilitating factors were identified.


There is little factual information available regarding the identification of acute skin failure, and the literature is lacking in this area overall. Acute skin failure may develop in the body in a number of ways, and understanding commonalities that occur in patients who experience acute skin failure and applying that information to patients in the future may assist identification.

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