Medline Enhances VAP Prevention Oral Care Kits With New CHG Oral Rinse

Medline Industries, Inc. announces the addition of 15ml chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) 0.12 percent oral rinse to its VAPrevent kits for the oral and pharyngeal care of ventilated patients. CHG has become an increasingly important product in the fight against ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). According to the National Healthcare Safety Network, VAP is the second most common healthcare-acquired infection, after urinary tract infection, affecting approximately 27 percent of all critically ill patients.

"CHG has increasingly become an important product in the oral and pharyngeal care of ventilated patients," said Lorri Downs, RN, BSN, MS, CIC, vice president of infection prevention at Medline. "Critically ill patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) are at high risk for infections associated with increased morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs. VAP increases length of stay in the ICU and in the hospital, further increasing costs and risk of infection. Oropharyngeal decontamination with CHG is an attractive and cost effective infection prevention measure that is recommended by national patient safety groups as an important way to reduce the risks of VAP."

VAP occurs in people who are on mechanical ventilation through an endotracheal or tracheostomy tube for at least 48 hours (overall, VAP occurs in up to 25 percent of all people who require mechanical ventilation). Bacteria thrive in dental plaque and oropharyngeal secretions, and the ventilator tube provides the ideal avenue for migrating bugs.

Prevention of VAP involves limiting exposure to bacteria, discontinuing mechanical ventilation as soon as possible, and a variety of strategies to limit infection while intubated. In May the Institute for Healthcare Improvement added CHG to their "ventilator bundle" as an oral rinse to be used twice daily. The bundle consists of a list of actions that can be taken to help reduce VAP.

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