When poor oral health causes death

This month AJN, American Journal of Nursing features a case study of a patient that proves this point. A severely disabled man received such poor oral care from nursing home personnel that his oral and nasopharyngeal secretions built up (?óÔé¼?ôinspissated?óÔé¼?Ø), and he died from asphyxia. The lead author, Joseph A. Prahlow, was the pathologist in charge of the autopsy; the article features graphic photos of the thickened secretions that blocked his airway. A companion article by two dentists, Pamela S. Stein and Robert G. Henry, gives nurses suggestions on how they can overcome barriers to providing oral care to patients.

Here is a link to other articles on the subject of oral hygiene of the elderly or patients in long term care.

One Response to When poor oral health causes death

  1. How awful! Just goes to show that interdepartmental collaboration and communication can go a long way.