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Asmaa Ibrahem Abo Seada - Critical Care and Emergency Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Mansoura University, Egypt

Gehan Abd El-Hakeem Younis - Critical Care and Emergency Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Tanta University, Egypt

Safaa Eid - Critical Care and Emergency Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Tanta University, Egypt


Background: Intensive care unit (ICU) patients are exposed to many sources of distress. Thirst is a prevalent, intense, distressing, and underappreciated symptom in intensive care (ICU) patients. Thirst and dry mouth are frequent compelling desire or need to drink water or any fluid. Thirst resulting from the physiological need but also, due to habit, taste, dry mouth or throat and the desire to consume liquids that provide a feeling of warmth or cooling. Different factors can influence the presence and intensity of thirst, including, age, co morbidity, nutrition, anxiety and intubation. Saline is an economic and nontoxic way to provide a moist environment to facilitate the healing of oral wounds and decrease thirst among critically ill patient. There is a need for effective interventions to prevent thirst and dry mouth among critically patients. Aim: To evaluate the effect of a frozen saline swab on thirst intensity and dry mouth among critically ill post- operative patients at Tanta university. Method: A quasi – experimental design was utilized in this study. The study evaluated the impact of independent variable (a frozen saline swab) on the dependent variables (thirst and oral condition). This study was conducted at Intensive Care Unit, at Tanta University Hospital (surgical intensive care unit). Fifty (50) adult critically ill patients were assigned in two groups randomly (control and intervention) twenty five (25) in each according to inclusion criteria. Data were collected using the demographic and health-relevant characteristics, Thirst Intensity Scale and oral assessment guide. Results: it was observed that the mean age in control and study groups were 41.96±7.84 and 41.36±11.33 respectively and 68% of patients in control group were male while 60% in intervention group. No significant difference was observed in relation to thirst intensity scale among control and study group pre-procedure while a significant difference was found among two groups post procedure with p=0.000. only (16%) and more than one third (36%) of control group who had mild and moderate thirst intensity had mild oral dysfunction post procedure with strong correlation between oral assessment guide and visual analogue scale for thirst intensity where, P=0.000**. While, most of the patients (84.0%) in the study group who didn’t had thirst intensity had mild oral dysfunction with strong correlation P=0.000. Conclusion: a frozen saline swab was significantly effective in reducing thirst and dry among critically ill post-operative patients in Intensive Care Unit. Recommendation: oral health assessment guide should be incorporated as part of routine care of critically ill post-operative in ICU. Continued research regarding safety and efficacy of the comprehensive oral care and its effect on hemodynamic parameters should be applied in ICU.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)