Comparing the Effect of Echinacea and Chlorhexidine Mouthwash on the Microbial Flora of Intubated Patients Admitted to the Intensive Care Unit

Mehdi Safarabadi, Ehsanollah Ghaznavi‑Rad, Abdolghader Pakniyat, Korosh Rezaie, Ali Jadidi


Background: Providing intubated patients admitted to the intensive care units with oral healthcare is one of the main tasks of nurses in order to prevent Ventilator‑Associated Pneumonia (VAP). This study aimed at comparing the effects of two mouthwash solutions (echinacea and chlorhexidine) on the oral microbial flora of patients hospitalized in the intensive care units.
Materials and Methods: In this clinical trial, 70 patients aged between18 and 65 years undergoing tracheal intubation through the mouth in three hospitals in Arak, were selected using simple random sampling and were randomly divided into two groups: the intervention group and the control group. The oral health checklist was used to collect the data (before and after the intervention). The samples were obtained from the orally intubated patients and were then cultured in selective media. Afterwards, the aerobic microbial growth was investigated in all culture media. The data were analyzed using SPSS software.

Results: The microbial flora in the echinacea group significantly decreased after the intervention (p < 0.0001) and it was also the case withmicrobial flora of the patients in the chlorhexidine group (p < 0.001). After 4 days, the oral microbial flora of the patients in the intervention group was lower than that of the patients in the control group (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: The results showed that the echinacea solution was more effective in decreasing the oral microbial flora of patients in the intensive care unit. Given the benefits of the components of the


Chlorhexidine; Echinacea; intensive care units; Iran; oral hygiene

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