What effects do types of oral hygiene care have on the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in critically ill patients?

Ventilator-associated pneumonia, an infection in the lungs, is one of the most common nosocomial infections and the leading cause of death from nosocomial infections among critically ill patients. Patients who have been receiving mechanical ventilation for at least 48 hours can develop VAP. When patients are intubated, many of their normal defenses against infections such as pneumonia are impaired. The endotracheal tube bypasses normal filtration, warming, and humidification processes and disrupts normal mucus and secretion clearance. As a result, microorganisms can enter the sterile respiratory tract, leading to infection.

One factor contributing to the development of VAP is the patient’s overall oral health while receiving mechanical ventilation. Intubation affects the oral flora and allows the amount of gram-negative organisms to...

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