The Effectiveness of Chlorhexidine in the Prevention of Pneumonia

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Abstract Pneumonia is a life threatening disease for the elderly patients and is a leading cause of death in patients who are seriously ill and have been admitted to the ICU and are on mechanical breathing support, also known as the ventilator. Researchers have concluded that oral hygiene is the main culprit in the development of pneumonia in these patients. In this paper, we shall look at effectiveness of the use of an oral antiseptic agent called chlorhexidine. We will discuss the use of chlorhexidine in the prevention of pneumonia in these patients so that this method could be applied to decrease the mortality rate. Chapter I Introduction Ventilator Associated Pneumonia, also referred to as the VAP is a kind of the hospital acquired pneumonia which means that patients acquire it during their stay at the hospital. This is the pneumonia that develops within a time period of 48 hours after mechanical ventilation is started in the patient with the use of tracheal intubation. Apart from the lung damage that this disease may cause, this condition causes the duration of the mechanical ventilation to be prolonged and thus the time for which the patient has to stay in the ICU is also increased along with the economic cost. Reports have also included that VAP has been associated with an increase in the mortality rate of the patients who are admitted to the ICU by as much as 30 to 70 percent. (George, 1995) Therefore, it is the need of time to prevent the development of this
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