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Mouthcare for patients with COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19

Published: 15th April 2020

Supporting seriously ill patients’ mouthcare is an important part of overall patient care. If oral hygiene is neglected, the mouth rapidly becomes dry and sore. The aim of good mouthcare for patients in hospital is to maintain oral cleanliness, prevent additional infection and reduce the likelihood of developing bacterial pneumonia1-5. On admission include the mouth in the patient’s assessment and care plan (an example of a form to record this can be found here).

This guidance outlines mouthcare for hospitalised adults and children with COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 who are non-ventilated, ventilated and those having step down or end of life care.

When providing mouthcare for patients with COVID-19 wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent contact and droplet transmission. This means wearing disposable gloves, plastic apron, eye protection and a fluid resistant surgical mask. Delivering mouthcare is not an aerosol generating procedure. However, the environment you are working in may require the use of enhanced PPE (e.g. if working where patients are ventilated).

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