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There's a life-saving medical device sitting on your sink
Date:12/11/2008

r survival."

Normally, the teeth and oral cavity in a healthy mouth maintain a colony of otherwise harmless bacteria. Infection takes root when a breathing tube allows free passage of the "good" bacteria into the lower parts of the lung. The bacteria travel in small water droplets through the tube and colonize the lung. Once there, the bacteria take advantage of a patient's weakened immune system and multiply. A regular toothbrushing kills the growth and subsequent spread of the bacterium that leads to VAP.

Augmenting the Preventative Routine

There are additional steps for preventing the onset of VAP. Today, nurses typically use a mechanical suction device to remove secretions from the mouth and throat. They also put patients in a seated position and change the position every few hours. Toothbrushing, say Tel Aviv University nurses, should be added to the routine.

Although nurses in some American hospitals already practice toothbrushing on ventilated patients, these new results may convince medical centers around the world to invest more resources in this routine practice, thereby saving lives.


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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

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