Pneumonia can steal a life quickly! Patients dependent on others for oral care are at increased risk of pneumonia from aspiration of pathogenic oral bacteria. This is the oral-systemic connection at its worst. Can pneumonia be prevented with the power of a toothbrush? How does this apply to your world?
As we age, many of us may have loved ones in long-term institutional settings, or we ourselves may be more likely to be hospitalized for a health issue. Many hospitalized patients commonly develop a hospital-acquired pneumonia, with patients on ventilator life support in an ICU at the highest risk. Resulting mortality rates of roughly 20% in the US cost hospitals $40,000 per case, which is not reimbursable.
The number one reason a patient is transferred from a nursing home to the hospital is aspiration pneumonia. The number one cause of death in people with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's is also pneumonia. For hospitalized patients and people in long-term care, evidence-based studies have shown that improved levels of oral care can significantly improve the odds of avoiding this often deadly outcome.
Can dental professionals save both lives and hospital costs? This course will examine the latest evidence on the connection between pathogenic oral bacterial levels and the development of pneumonias. Dental professionals can all be knowledgeable advocates for improving levels of oral care in these situations. Learn the latest information to be sure this doesn't happen to you or someone you love.
• Review the morbidity, mortality, and costs of pneumonia and the connection to oral health.
• Define key components of a research-based, comprehensive institutional oral care protocol and the evidence for reducing pneumonia.
• Promote the value of dental professionals in improving outcomes in compromised health settings.