Effects of oral care solutions on mucous membrane integrity and bacterial colonization
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AimThis research was conducted with the aim of determining the influence of three different oral care solutions on oral mucous membrane integrity in critically ill patients. BackgroundOral care is a basic part of nursing care in intensive care units. DesignA randomized controlled trial was conducted. MethodA total of 60 patients (20 patients in each group) comprised the study sample of the research. Patients were randomly allocated to three groups. Patients in groups 1, 2 and 3 were administered mouth care three times a day using 5% sodium bicarbonate, 02% chlorhexidine and saline solution, respectively. Data were collected by means of a Descriptive characteristics form' and an oral assessment tool'. ResultsMean scores of oral assessment tool increased according to days in all groups, however, this increase was found to be statistically insignificant (p>005). Mean scores of the patients in saline solution group were seen to be lower than those of the other groups. When inter-group comparison of days was done, the difference between oral assessment scores was found to be statistically significant (p=0000). ConclusionIt was found that there was no difference between patient groups receiving saline solution, sodium bicarbonate and 02% chlorhexidine for mouth care in terms of oral mucous membrane integrity; oral mucosa of all patients was found to be mildly dysfunctioning. Relevance to clinical practiceIt is thought that standardized protocols for oral hygiene developed in the light of the findings of randomized controlled trials may improve the oral health in critically ill patients.