Journal of Medical and Surgical Intensive Care Medicine 2012 , Vol 3, Issue 1
The Comparison of the Effects of Chlorhexidine Mouthwash Alone and Chlorhexidine Mouthwash Followed By Oral Suctioning on Oral Hygiene of Critically Ill Patients
Hossein Rafiei 1 , Hakimeh Hosseinrezaei 2 , Sedigheh Iranmanesh 2 , Maryam Tajadiny 2 , Masoud Amiri 3
1Department of Intensive and Critical Care, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran
2Department of Medical Surgical, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
3Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Health, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran
DOI : 10.5152/dcbybd.2012.04

Aim: Oral hygiene is one of the main issues in nursing care, being especially important among patients  admitted to intensive care units (ICU). The aim of the study was to assess the effect of Chlorhexidine mouthwash alone and 0.2% Chlorhexidine mouthwash followed by oral suctioning on oral hygiene in ICU patients.

Material and Methods: In a semi-experimental research design, 90 patients who were admitted to the ICUs were selected. Patients were randomly divided into two groups. In group I, 0.2% chlorhexidine mouthwash alone was applied and in group 2, 0.2% chlorhexidine mouthwash was followed by oral suctioning. These procedures were repeated for 7 consecutive days. The oral hygiene status of patients was assessed by using a Beck checklist on the 1st and 7th days of ICU admission.

Results: Oral hygiene scores of group I on the 1st and 7th days were 12.4 and 14.3 respectively. In group II, the scores of the 1st and 7th days were 11.8 and 10.5 respectively. Oral hygiene status of group I was poorer on the 7th day, but in group II oral hygiene had improved on the 7th day of application. 

Conclusion: We found that using a 0.2% chlorhexidine solution alone is not enough for oral care of patients in the ICU and suctioning of the oral secretions after 0.2% chlorhexidine mouthwash will improve oral hygiene in critically ill patients.

Keywords : Oral hygiene, mouthwash, chlorhexidine, oral suction, critically ill patients