Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Daily oral chlorhexidine to help prevent VAP

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) recently recommended that adult critical care patients be treated daily with oral chlorhexidine. IHI cites a 2007 meta-study which found that treatment of mechanically-ventilated adults with oral chlorhexidine was associated with a lower risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). After continued review of the literature, and after using chlorhexidine in the IHI Ventilator Bundle in Scotland for over a year, the IHI recommends a 0.12% chlorhexidine solution. The recommendation states that “There is little if any evidence of other oral care processes having an effect on the development of VAP, but it makes sense that good oral hygiene and the use of antiseptic oral decontamination reduces the bacteria on the oral mucosa and the potential for bacterial colonization in the respiratory tract.”

Read the full recommendation here: http://www.ihi.org/IHI/Topics/CriticalCare/IntensiveCare/Changes/IndividualChanges/DailyOralCarewithChlorhexidine.htm

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