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.