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Oral hygiene - Essay Example

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Oral hygiene and mouth care are related to respiratory illnesses especially in ICU and seriously ill patients. This study will aim to recognize and make recommendations towards the knowledge base of nursing staff in ICU wards. The research design is a quantitative survey analysis distributed to a sample population of nursing staff within ICU hospital wards…
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Download file to see previous pages Oral care is imperative to promoting a healthy patient, especially in the seriously ill, geriatric and cancer patients. Good oral hygiene is linked to the prevention of somatological diseases in older residents (Ship 2002), as well as periodontal diseases and infections in diabetic patients (Nursing 1993), and oral care reduces pneumonia in older patients (Yoneyama, 2004). However, it stands to be shown that very often nursing staff is unaware of the importance and method of appropriate oral hygiene (Adams 1996). Oral care is very cost effective and when appropriately applied, it can prevent diseases and infections, yet there is very little information on oral care for the intensive care unit and seriously ill patient other than in the geriatric, cancer and diabetic related studies.
Currently, the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center is sponsoring a study on Oral Care to Reduce Mouth and Throat Infections in Critically Ill Patients (ClinicalTrials 2005). Their research uses phase three longitudinal studies of one-thousand to three-thousand patients in intensive care units to evaluate a program of oral hygiene that may prevent respiratory infections in patients, which "occur five times more often in critically ill patients compared with patients in general hospital wards and result in longer hospital stays and an increased risk of death" (ClinicalTrials 2005). It stands to be noted that there is a higher likelihood of a patient leaving an intensive care unit with a mouth infection or respiratory infection because of inadequate oral hygiene. This rate of infection, according to and Maryland Health Institute is due to the presence of disease causing bacteria in the patient population. Their study is planning to asses oral care effectiveness amongst seriously ill patients from Washington DC related areas, and the Maryland Health Institute study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center seeks to define the effectiveness of oral care in patients over the age of eighteen with a focus on:
These hospitals have ICUs more representative of ICU's nation-wide. This study will test the effectiveness of a comprehensive and systematic oral care program to reduce the oral assessment scores, mucosal plaque scores, and the amount of pathogen inoculum present in the saliva and plaque. Incubated and non-incubated patients will be compared as well as meticulous care with or without the addition of the oral antiseptic, chlorhexidine. Consistency of practice performance will also be evaluated when nursing staff has dentist/hygienist instruction and monitoring versus the traditional nurse instruction.
The following research proposal will come to a slightly different approach in developing mouth care for seriously ill patients. The proposal is to seek the manner in which ICU nurses give oral care and their understanding of method, procedures and guidelines as well as prevention techniques. It is obvious from previous studies that the health care industry as a whole is not entirely aware of preventative measures (Adams 1996) and that there are few studies devoted specifically to the seriously ill pat ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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