Simple Oral Care for Patients Can Save Lives


It is so amazing that something as simple as basic oral care (I think they are just talking about brushing teeth and rinsing with a good antiseptic rinse), could have this kind of an impact on hospital contracted pneumonia and it’s actual outcome.  So hopefully this kind of information might make it to the mainstream so that patient’s families can get on board in places where this type of service isn’t being offered and help patients that can’t always do these basic care items for themselves.

In a recent article written by Pauline Bartolone on Capital Public Radio, the findings of a specialty group were alarming.

Nurses at private hospitals, Veterans Affairs and a university teamed up to look at the rates of hospital-acquired pneumonia in patients who aren’t on ventilators. “Hospitals weren’t going to be paid if patients on ventilators got pneumonia,” she says. “Meanwhile, the other patients that weren’t on the ventilators were also getting pneumonia, but not receiving the same amount of attention.”

Baker says the team designed a year-long program of basic oral care for patients at one hospital system. At the end of the year, pneumonia rates went down by 37 percent.

“Oral health care was the most modifiable. We felt it would be the easiest to implement, and its basic nursing care, and should be happening,” says Baker. “So we just thought, let’s start with that! And we had these wonderful results.”

The nurse team estimated that eight deaths were prevented, almost two million dollars were saved, and 500 hospital days were averted.

Another way that patients can be protected while on a hospital stay is the use of Essential Oil Aromatherapy.  The implementation of diffusing Young Living Thieves Oil in the patients room is growing nationwide.  Over 50 major hospitals in the US are using essential oils.  This anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral essential oil can also help protect patients and their visiting family members from contracting airborne illnesses while in the hospital.

The charge nurse became a certified aromatherapist and is now a member of both the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists and the Alliance of International Aromatherapists, and has done a wonderful job of clinically integrating essential oils into our daily practice. In order to insure consistent quality, we use Young Living Oils exclusively. Most of the oils are used Neat, (undiluted), and others are diluted with extra virgin olive oil depending on each situation. We also diffuse Young Living Essential Oils at nursing stations, in our PACU, physician’s lounges, and in some offices.

We regularly treat gout, neuropathy, carpel tunnel, sinusitis, headaches, abdominal pain, kidney stone pain, neuralgia, tennis elbow, arthritis, back pain, leg cramps, post-op hip and knee pain and whatever else comes our way. Each patient’s need, including which Young Living Essential Oils were used, is documented in our elec tronic charting so we can track their outcomes. We always have a good stock of lavender, pep­permint, Peace and Calming, lemongrass, Thieves and plenty of single oils to make blends for gout. (Cleveland Clinic, Integrative Therapies Team)  Learn more about these Essential Oils.

Pass this on to anyone that has loved one’s in the hospital to assist them in preventing their loved ones from getting sicker while in the hospital.

Healthy Living Blog

Sandy J Duncan
Sandy Duncan is completing her Doctorate in Integrative Medicine, a health and wellness coach, Certified Neurofeedback specialist and author of Read honest reviews on current health and wellness products as well as register for FREE giveaways.