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Abstract


INTERNATIONAL DENTAL JOURNAL OF STUDENTS RESEARCH - VOLUME 1 ISSUE 2, June-Sept 2012

Pages: 69-77

INTENSIVE CARE UNITS STAFF’S KNOWLEDGE AND ORAL HYGIENE PRACTICE IN CROATIAN HOSPITALS

Author: Emina Kabil, Maja Miladinovi?, Matej Par

Category: Original Research

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Abstract:

Aim: Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients require thorough oral care. Inadequate oral care may predispose ICU patients to severe nosocomial infection, Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP). On the other hand, appropriate oral hygiene in ICUs can potentially reduce morbidity from VAP and therefore shorten hospital stay and reduce ICU mortality.

Aim of this study was to assess the awareness of this problem and oral hygiene practice of ICU medical staff.

Material and Methods: The study was conducted among 249 members of ICU nursing staff from 14 Croatian hospitals. A written survey comprising questions divided into two groups: staff knowledge and oral hygiene practice was used.

Results: 94.7% of respondents declared they were familiar with the VAP. Only 32.6% of respondents know the right cause of VAP. 44, 9% reported having an oral care protocol in their hospital. Tongue brushing was reported by 42.2% nurses, and the most frequently used oral hygiene agent is gauze soaked in paraffin oil (75.1%). Most of the nursing staff was aware of the importance of oral care practice in ICU and they allege lack of time (47.1%), lack of staff (39.6%) and the lack of resources (36.6%) as limiting factors in the implementation of adequate oral hygiene. Only 60.6 % wanted additional education and training.

Conclusion: This study indicates a relatively low level of knowledge and great diversity of oral hygiene practices in Croatian ICUs. In order to improve oral hygiene in ICUs, a standardized written protocol should be introduced.

Encouraging staff education and providing ICU nurses with sufficient resources is needed in order to improve oral hygiene enforcement in ICUs

 

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