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Keywords

hospital-acquired infection, nonventilator hospital-acquired pneumonia, oral care, pneumonia

 

Authors

  1. Giuliano, Karen K. PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Penoyer, Daleen PhD, RN, CCRP, FCNS, FCCM
  3. Middleton, Aurea RN
  4. Baker, Dian PhD, RN, APRN-BC, PNP

ABSTRACT

Background: Nonventilator hospital-acquired pneumonia (NV-HAP) presents a serious and largely preventable threat to patient safety in U.S. hospitals. There is an emerging body of evidence on the effectiveness of oral care in preventing NV-HAP.

 

Purpose: The primary aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a universal, standardized oral care protocol in preventing NV-HAP in the acute care setting. The primary outcome measure was NV-HAP incidence per 1,000 patient-days.

 

Methods: This 12-month study was conducted on four units at an 800-bed tertiary medical center. Patients on one medical and one surgical unit were randomly assigned to receive enhanced oral care (intervention units); patients on another medical and another surgical unit received usual oral care (control units).

 

Results: Total enrollment was 8,709. For the medical control versus intervention units, oral care frequency increased from a mean of 0.95 to 2.25 times per day, and there was a significant 85% reduction in the NV-HAP incidence rate. The odds of developing NV-HAP were 7.1 times higher on the medical control versus intervention units, a significant finding. For the surgical control versus intervention units, oral care frequency increased from a mean of 1.18 to 2.02 times per day, with a 56% reduction in the NV-HAP incidence rate. The odds of developing NV-HAP were 1.6 times higher on the surgical control versus intervention units, although this result did not reach significance.

 

Conclusions: These findings add to the growing body of evidence that daily oral care as a means of primary source control may have a role in NV-HAP prevention. The implementation of effective strategies to ensure that such care is consistently provided warrants further study. It's not yet known what degree and frequency of oral care are required to effect favorable changes in the oral microbiome during acute care hospitalization.