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Authors

  1. Stonecypher, Karen RN, MSN, CRRN

Abstract

Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) occurs within 24 hours of intubation and mechanical ventilation. Health care costs related to increased patient mortality, extended length of stay, and patient well-being make treatment of VAP a priority in all health care settings. The Institute for Healthcare Improvements has developed the Ventilator Bundle as a group of interventions linked to ventilator care with demonstrated outcome improvements; removal of subglottic secretions is one of these recommendations. Dental plaque and bacterial colonization of pathogens is directly related to microaspiration of bacteria into the lungs. A moist environment in the mouth maintains normal oropharyngeal bacteria, preventing overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria. Frequent oral care to include twice-a-day brushing of the teeth found a 69% reduction in respiratory tract infections.