Prendergast and colleagues evaluated the oral health status of intubated patients in a neuroscience intensive care unit (ICU) through intubation and 48 hours after extubation, and described the effect of oral care on intracranial pressure (ICP). They found the following:

  • Pathogenic oropharyngeal bacteria and yeast increase over the duration of intubation.

  • Oral health deteriorates during intubation and improves almost to baseline levels 48 hours after extubation.

  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia rates increased as duration of intubation increased, from 25% on study day 4 to 46% on day 10.

  • Oral care was associated with no adverse effects in patients whose ICP was less than 20 mm Hg before oral care was instituted.

  • In patients whose ICP was higher than 20 mm Hg before oral care, ICP decreased 76% or remained stable during and after oral care.

See Article, pp 368–376

The systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)...

You do not currently have access to this content.