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August 26, 2014

Better Health Care Provided to AZ Workers

Recent reports indicate Arizona is one of the best employers concerning employee health benefits to workers. Workers in Arizona pay a smaller share of their overall bill compared to the majority of state workers anywhere else in the country. According to analysts, Arizona regularly conducts surveys to compare their benefits on the national stage. The […]

 

Hospitals Dealing With Increase in Pneumonia Related to Teeth

Hospitals all over the country are starting to come across a problem they didn’t even know they had: pneumonia caused by poor oral hygiene.

It has been known for a long time that patients on ventilators are at a drastically increased risk of pneumonia, and as such, hospitals are legally required to watch for signs of pneumonia. They have never watched non-ventilated patients too closely however, despite the rather high number of pneumonia cases.

A recent year-long study done on non-ventilated patients has shown that they are becoming infected with pneumonia partially due to poor oral hygiene. The explanation given is that when patients do not care for the health of their mouths, they become filled with bacteria, and breathing those bacteria in can cause considerable damage to already-weakened immune systems.

Upon noticing this trend, those conducting the study instituted a hospital-wide oral hygiene program, and found the results extremely promising. They were able to reduce the incidences of pneumonia by over 35% in non-ventilated patients.

This study has seemingly opened the doors for hospitals to be potentially held liable for cases of pneumonia. Many hospital administrators are not worried, however, given that the tools for proper oral hygiene are provided for all patients, and in many cases, the patients are simply too tired to take care of it themselves.

Some hospitals are training staff members to assist patients, and make sure they are aware of the risks associated with poor oral hygiene. As with all dentist recommendations, twice-daily sessions of brushing and flossing are recommended, along with mouthwash when it is available.

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