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Nursing

Does an oral care protocol reduce VAP in patients with a tracheostomy?


PMID 23778208

Abstract

Several studies have demonstrated that oral care with chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) 0.12% solution reduces the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in mechanically ventilated patients with endotracheal tubes in the ICU. Minimal evidence shows the effectiveness of any oral care protocols in preventing VAP in mechanically ventilated patients with tracheostomies in a step-down or progressive care unit (PCU). To determine the effectiveness of an oral care protocol in reducing the VAP rate in mechanically ventilated patients with tracheostomies in the PCU. A 12-month prospective study was conducted on 75 mechanically ventilated patients who had tracheostomies. The oral care protocol consisted of tooth brushing with toothpaste and applying CHG 0.12% solution every 12 hours. At the conclusion of the study, the VAP rate in the study population was compared with the National Health and Safety Network (NHSN) report for 2009 benchmark of 1.5 per 1,000 ventilator days. After the oral care protocol was implemented in the PCU, the VAP rate was 1.1 per 1,000 ventilator days over 12 months, compared with the NHSN report for 2009 of 1.5 per 1,000 ventilator days. Tooth brushing with toothpaste and applying CHG 0.12% solution may be an effective oral care protocol to reduce the VAP rate in patients in PCUs with tracheostomies who are being mechanically ventilated.