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Rajeswari Murugesan 1 Article
Nursing
Effect of fourth hourly oropharyngeal suctioning on ventilator-associated events in patients requiring mechanical ventilation in intensive care units of a tertiary care center in South India: a randomized controlled trial
Khanjana Borah, Lakshmi Ramamoorthy, Muthapillai Senthilnathan, Rajeswari Murugesan, Hmar Thiak Lalthanthuami, Rani Subramaniyan
Acute Crit Care. 2023;38(4):460-468.   Published online November 24, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4266/acc.2022.01501
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Background
Mechanical ventilation (MV) is a necessary life-saving measure for critically ill patients. Ventilator-associated events (VAEs) are potentially avoidable complications associated with MV that can double the rate of death. Oral care and oropharyngeal suctioning, although neglected procedures, play a vital role in the prevention of VAE.
Methods
A randomized controlled trial was conducted in the intensive care units to compare the effect of fourth hourly oropharyngeal suctioning with the standard oral care protocol on VAE among patients on MV. One hundred twenty mechanically ventilated patients who were freshly intubated and expected to be on ventilator support for the next 72 hours were randomly allocated to the control or intervention groups. The intervention was fourth hourly oropharyngeal suctioning along with the standard oral care procedure. The control group received standard oral care (i.e., thrice a day) and on-demand oral suctioning. On the 3rd and 7th days following the intervention, endotracheal aspirates were sent to rule out ventilator-associated pneumonia.
Results
Both groups were homogenous at baseline with respect to their clinical characteristics. The intervention group had fewer VAEs (56.7%) than the control group (78.3%) which was significant at P<0.01. A significant reduction in the status of “positive culture” on ET aspirate also been observed following the 3rd day of the intervention (P<0.001).
Conclusions
One of the most basic preventive strategies is providing oral care. Oropharyngeal suctioning is also an important component of oral care that prevents microaspiration. Hence, fourth-hourly oropharyngeal suctioning with standard oral care significantly reduces the incidence of VAE.

ACC : Acute and Critical Care