Consensus based clinical guideline for oral hygiene in the critically ill

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Journal Article
Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, 2011, 27 (4), pp. 180 - 185
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Objectives: Oropharyngeal colonisation has been identified as a factor contributing to ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). We sought to develop a clinical practice guideline for providing oral hygiene in the critically ill. Research methodology: Following a systematic literature review a prospectively derived consensus development conference was convened and sponsored by a clinical governance unit. Results: The consensus development conference generated 12 recommendations for tools and solutions; frequency and duration of cleaning; oral assessment tools and oral hygiene protocols. These recommendations underwent a validation process. Conclusions: In light of sparse high level evidence to inform guidelines, further research is needed inform clinical practice. Oral hygiene is a critical element of nursing care and a standardised approach has the potential to improve clinical outcomes. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
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