Consensus based clinical guideline for oral hygiene in the critically ill

Angela M. Berry, Patricia M. Davidson, Lisa Nicholson, Carmel Pasqualotto, Kaye Rolls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Objectives: Oropharyngeal colonisation has been identified as a factor contributing to ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). We sought to develop a clinical practice guideline for providing oral hygiene in the critically ill. Research methodology: Following a systematic literature review a prospectively derived consensus development conference was convened and sponsored by a clinical governance unit. Results: The consensus development conference generated 12 recommendations for tools and solutions; frequency and duration of cleaning; oral assessment tools and oral hygiene protocols. These recommendations underwent a validation process. Conclusions: In light of sparse high level evidence to inform guidelines, further research is needed inform clinical practice. Oral hygiene is a critical element of nursing care and a standardised approach has the potential to improve clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-185
Number of pages6
JournalIntensive and Critical Care Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical guidelines
  • Intensive care unit
  • Oral hygiene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care


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