Retrospective review of the reduction of oral pressure ulcers in mechanically ventilated patients: a change in practice

Crit Care Nurs Q. 2012 Jul-Sep;35(3):247-54. doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0b013e3182542de3.


Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPU) are a growing concern in patient care. Mucosal pressure ulcers (PUs) on the lips, mouth, gums, and tongue caused by oral intubation and their securement devices can be difficult to identify and prevent. In an effort to address this problem and reduce mucosal PU, implementation of an alternative securement device, the Hollister ETAD endotracheal (ET) tube securing device, in conjunction with the B&B Medical Universal Bite Block, was introduced at our institution, a level 1 trauma and burn center, in July 2007. The ETAD was later replaced by the Hollister AnchorFast ET tube securing device in December 2007. By April 2009, they became the standard devices and method used to secure oral ET tubes. We hypothesized the use of the new securement devices and bite block would lead to a decrease of HAPUs on the lips, mouth, gums, and tongue of orally intubated critical care patients because these allow for better oral assessment and ET tube manipulation to redistribute pressure. Using data collected from our electronic medical record and our HAPU incidence tracking system, we analyzed the number of PUs on the lips, mouth, gums, and tongue of orally intubated patients in our preintervention (phase 1) group compared with the data from our postintervention (phases 2 and 3) groups. A clinically significant decrease in the reported incidence of HAPUs on the lips, mouth, gums, and tongue was noted in our phases 2 and 3 groups following introduction of the ETAD, AnchorFast, and Universal Bite Block in our institution.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Critical Care / methods*
  • Humans
  • Oral Ulcer / etiology
  • Oral Ulcer / prevention & control*
  • Pressure Ulcer / etiology
  • Pressure Ulcer / prevention & control*
  • Respiration, Artificial* / adverse effects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Washington