n Southern African Journal of Critical Care - Oral hygiene care in critically ill patients




Oral hygiene care includes a combination of nursing activities that are often placed very low on the priority care list for a critically ill patient. This may have detrimental implications for the patient. A literature review was done to identify and describe the available evidence related to the beneficial effects of oral hygiene care and the way in which oral hygiene practices should be implemented for a critically ill patient. Various implications of poor oral hygiene care are highlighted, as well as the barriers that have been identified to preventing good oral hygiene care practice. A discussion of the available research evidence to guide oral hygiene care activities includes aspects of timing as well as recommended 'tools'. While some nursing-led research has been published on this topic, there is scope for further investigation into oral hygiene care practices in the critically ill.


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