Background: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a common complication of mechanical ventilation after endotracheal intubation. The role of chlorhexidine and tooth brushing has been considered as a clinical intervention to reduce infection rates however evidence to inform this needs appraising. Keywords:
Chlorhexidine Gluconate (CHX)
Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP)
Mechanically Ventilated (MV)
Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
Aim: This paper presents a critical review on whether chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX) and tooth-brushing decreases rates of ventilator-associated pneumonia in adult mechanically ventilated patients cared for in intensive care settings.
Methods: A literature search was conducted using a number of…show more content… Chlorhexidine was also effective in reducing dental plaque in patients cared for in intensive care and had the potential to reduce nosocomial infections. Results of studies investigating the use of tooth-brushing in reducing VAP incidence proved inconsistent, although all recommend tooth-brushing in maintaining good hygiene. Conclusions: The use of chlorhexidine has been proven to be of some value in reducing VAP, although may be more effective when used with a solution which targets gram-negative bacteria.Tooth-brushing is recommended in providing a higher standard of oral care to mechanically ventilated patients and reducing VAP when used with chlorhexidine. However, limitations in study design and inconsistency in results suggests that further research is required into the effects of…show more content… Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) refers to bacterial pneumonia developed in patients who have been mechanically ventilated for more than 48 hours. Whilst there is no universally accepted definition of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)(Department of Health (DoH) 2010), it is viewed as a hospital-acquired infection caused by the aspiration of bacteria past the endotracheal cuff after 48 hours of being intubated, which can develop into pneumonia. VAP is known to extend intensive care unit (ICU) stay and has substantial cost implications of up to £12,000 per patient episode (Fletcher et al., 2008). Safadar et al., (2005) suggest that strategies for the prevention of VAP are urgently needed to help reduce hospitalisation costs, incidence of mortality and improve patient