Banned Care Product Responsible For Over 800 Safety Incidents In NHS
In September 2015, the Health England Education Board announced that the use of the traditional pink, foam-tipped mouth swabs had been banned within NHS Wales.
These instantly-recognisable oral care tools have been commonplace in hospitals, care homes and dental surgeries for many years. The foam swabs provided a low-cost, convenient way to administer oral care to patients, so why has the NHS Wales taken the drastic step to ban them?
At first glance, these disposable ‘foam lollies’ look innocent enough, but, delve into the NHS statistics and they have a potentially deadly design flaw.
“The foam head could not be retrieved. The patient subsequently died…”
Back in 2012, an incident in Wales was reported to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency which triggered a medical safety alert. Whilst a healthcare professional was administering mouth care to an elderly patient, the foam tip became dislodged in the patient’s mouth. Tragically, despite emergency intervention, the foam tip could not be retrieved and the patient subsequently died.
Due to their low cost design, the potentially life threatening design flaw with traditional mouth swabs was that the foam tips could be relatively easily pulled off, especially when the tips were soaked in water before use or if the patient were to bite down – a common response to oral care in patients living with dementia, for example.
Around 800 similar incidents of the foam tips becoming dislodged, retained in the mouth or torn during use were reported by the National Patient Safety Agency between 2008 and 2012. This led to all foam tipped swabs being banned for use in Wales, with England subsequently following suit in several areas of the country.
What are the practical alternatives to foam tipped swabs?
MouthEze oral care sticks were developed as a safe, practical response to this report and provide numerous improvements over the traditional, outdated swabs.
A ‘Class 1 Medical Device’ for use in delivering safe mouthcare, MouthEze sticks are suitable for use in any care setting, including hospitals, care homes, hospices and dental practices.
The plastic sticks feature a cone shaped head with smooth, rounded filaments, made of soft material. Neither the heads, nor the filaments can be easily removed, even if they are left soaking in water overnight.
By applying a rotating action during use, MouthEze sticks can collect debris as they clean, as well as delivering water, held between the soft filaments, to the patient’s mouth. MouthEze can be steralised and re-used for up to one week.
A Breakthrough In Specialist Mouthcare
The ergonomic design of MouthEze has been assessed and tested for safe use with a wide range of patients groups, including;
- Older people,
- People living with dementia,
- Patients with neurological conditions such as stroke,
- Cancer therapy patients,
- People with learning disabilities
- And patients in specialised intensive care units.
MouthEze can also be used safely with ventilated patients who are at risk of contracting ventilated associated pneumonia (VAP). MouthEze is for those people who are dependent or require assistance for mouth care and for people where conventional methods i.e. toothbrushes and sponge swabs are not suitable.
Deliver Net is delighted to have been awarded an exclusive UK distribution contract by the team behind MouthEze. We now carry packs of 25 MouthEze sticks in stock, available for next-day delivery if require. To place an order for MouthEze, either shop online or call our Customer Service team on (01756) 706050.