This study evaluated the effect of implementing an oral and dental care protocol and the impact of the protocol on rates of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in adult patients receiving mechanical ventilation for more than 48 hours in a medical intensive care unit (MICU) in 2 consecutive 24-month periods. The study compared 779 patients in the preintervention group that had no specific oral assessment, subglottic suctioning, toothbrushing, or oral cavity secretion suctioning compared to an intervention group of 759 patients treated with a protocol that included deep suctioning every 6 hours, oral tissue cleansing every 4 hours, toothbrushing twice daily, and oral cavity assessment. The rate of VAP between the 2 groups was significantly different, with VAP decreasing in the intervention group. In addition, duration of mechanical ventilation and ICU length of stay were decreased in the intervention group, highlighting the impact of a...

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