Brush Pneumonia Away

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Darling, Anna
McCullough, Tricia
Ryan, Katara
Burkholder, Stephanie
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Series/Report No.
Brush Pneumonia Away
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Pneumonia is an all-too-common healthcare-associated infection that often affects older individuals, as well as those who are medically compromised. In fact, one report estimates that among institutionalized patients, 41 percent die from pneumonia, theorized to be caused by bacteria in the oral cavity being aspirated (Hong et al., 2017, p. e96). When an individual is compromised by age or illness, in such institutions as nursing homes and intensive care units, it is the duty of the nurses, CNAs, and other staff to perform or assist in activities of daily living (ADLs). These are defined as “fundamental skills that are required to independently care for oneself such as eating, bathing, and mobility” (Edemekong et al., 2020). One ADL that often gets overlooked is the performance of daily oral care. While oral hygiene affects the integrity of the gums, teeth, tongue, and throat, it can also protect these vulnerable patients from life-threatening conditions such as pneumonia. The purpose of this Evidenced-Based Practice Review is to examine the relationship between oral hygiene and healthcare-associated pneumonia in in-patient settings. The results are important for nurses and healthcare workers alike to ensure the health of their patients and prevent healthcare-acquired illnesses such as pneumonia. Nurses and other providers can use this information to implement programs of proper oral care in order to prevent cases of pneumonia within hospitals and nursing homes, as well as to provide education about just how influential oral care is, not only for oral health but for overall health.
Degree Awarded
Nursing Department