Medline's Newly Designed Oral Care System Helps Reduce the Risk of VAP

Medline today announced several enhancements to its VAPrevent® oral care program, an advanced oral care management system created to help clinicians complete timely oral care on ventilated patients, which can help reduce the risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).

VAP is the second most common hospital-acquired infection in the United States and adds an estimated cost of $40,000 to a hospital stay. Between 250,000 300,000 cases of VAP are diagnosed every year in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), VAP is the leading cause of death among hospital-acquired infections, with a mortality rate of 20 percent to 33 percent. A major cause of VAP which occurs in up to 25 percent of all people who require mechanical ventilation through an endotracheal or tracheostomy tube is oral bacteria that thrive in dental plaque and oropharyngeal secretions making their way into the lungs by way of a mechanical ventilator.

To prevent VAP, the CDC recommends cleaning the inside of the patients mouth on a regular basis. Medlines newly designed system features an innovative dispensing mechanism that contains individual procedure kits designed to make it easier to perform around-the-clock oral care on ventilated patients. The system is designed to help clinicians dispense the kits one-at-a-time and in the right order. Each kit is easily identifiable and labeled with the time to use it which helps to ensure that treatments are given on schedule, which is critical in preventing VAP.

Some new features in Medlines enhanced VAPrevent oral care kits include:
- CHG (chlorhexidine gluconate) pharmacy packs enable facilities to remove CHG bottles from the kit and store them in the facilitys pharmacy;
- Ergonomic suction handle provides best-in-class comfort and ease of use;
- Connectors swivel to stop hose kinks and maintain strong suction. Thumb port adapter converts straight suction tools to on off tools; and
- Solid-board outer packaging now compatible with corrugate-free environments.

"Medlines new kit is intuitive to use because it makes it very easy for the clinician to know which component to use and the appropriate time to use it," says Connie Steed, director of infection prevention and control at Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center in Greenville, S.C. "Including CHG in this new kit is also extremely important for providing effective daily oral care to ventilated patients because it is clinically proven to reduce the risk of VAP."

In addition to the oral care kits, Medlines VAPrevent program includes comprehensive education and training for caregivers, patients and families, as well as dedicated program management to track progress and provide support and resources. The clinician education, which includes interactive learning modules, is provided online through Medline University, the companys web-based e-learning platform.