Oral care and bacteremia risk in mechanically ventilated adults

Deborah J. Jones, Cindy L. Munro, Mary Jo Grap, Todd Kitten, Michael Edmond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: Transient bacteremia occurs in healthy populations from toothbrushing. With the high incidence of bacteremia in the intensive care unit and toothbrushing as an oral care method, this study examined the incidence and clinical significance of transient bacteremia from toothbrushing in mechanically ventilated adults. Methods: Prospective pre- and post-test with all subjects (N = 30) receiving a toothbrushing intervention twice per day (up to 48 hours). The planned microbial analysis used DNA typing to identify organisms from oral and blood cultures collected immediately before, 1 minute, and 30 minutes after the interventions. Results: Seventeen percent of subjects had oral cultures that were positive for selected pathogens before the first toothbrushing intervention. None of the subjects had evidence of transient bacteremia by positive quantitative blood cultures before or after the toothbrushing interventions. Patient characteristics were not statistically significant predictors for systemic inflammatory response syndrome, length of hospital stay, or length of intubation. Conclusion: The toothbrushing intervention did not induce transient bacteremia in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S57-S65
JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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