Effects of preoperative oral care on bacterial colonisation and halitosis in patients undergoing elective surgery: A randomised controlled study

Wen Yi Lee, John Marc O'Donnell, Shu Yu Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: To evaluate the effects of single-dose chlorhexidine oral care on bacterial colonisation and halitosis in patients undergoing elective surgery. Research methodology: We conducted a two-arm parallel, single-blinded, randomised controlled trial. The intervention group (n = 102) received preoperative oral care with 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate, and the control group (n = 105) received standard care. The data of the microbiological cultures between the groups were compared at the time of tracheal intubation, at extubation and 30 min after surgery. The presence of halitosis was measured using a survey questionnaire administered to the anaesthesia nurses assigned to the patients. Results: At baseline, no significant differences were found between the intervention and control groups for bacterial colonisation or halitosis. After the intervention, there was no significant difference in microbiological culture, including gram-positive, gram-negative bacilli and cocci results, between the two groups (p > 0.05). The presence of halitosis in the intervention group was significantly lower than in the control group during intubation (p < 0.0001) and at 30 min after surgery (p < 0.02). Regression analysis indicated that receiving oral was protective towards halitosis, while poor oral health was a risk factor. Conclusions: Preoperative oral care using a single dose of chlorhexidine significantly improved the patients’ halitosis in the perioperative period, but no significant effect was found on bacterial colonisation. Further studies are needed regarding the safe use of chlorhexidine for oral care. Implication for clinical practice: Oral hygiene using chlorhexidine could be beneficial in improving halitosis for anaesthesia personnel who take care of intubated adult patients undergoing elective surgery with general anaesthesia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103532
JournalIntensive and Critical Care Nursing
Volume80
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

Keywords

  • Bacterial colonisation
  • Chlorhexidine
  • Halitosis
  • Mouth odour
  • Oral care
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care

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