Oral cryotherapy in preventing oral mucositis in chemotherapy patients
Oral mucositis is a common side effect of chemotherapy, an antineoplastic treatment. Oral mucositis is the opening of areas of epithelium in the mouth, creating inflamed sores and causing pain as well as the potential to develop bacteremia and other life threatening complications in this vulnerable population. Oral cryotherapy is the use of cold application in the mouth as a way to constrict the blood vessels there which in turn reduces the chemotherapeutic agent reaching the tissue there. A literature review was conducted to determine the efficacy of oral cryotherapy in preventing oral mucositis in chemotherapy patients and results and implications were presented to the nursing staff on the floor. This search showed that oral cryotherapy may reduce the incidence or severity of oral mucositis in patients receiving chemotherapy. The reduction in oral mucositis related to oral cryotherapy could decrease pain and discomfort as well as lead to better healthcare outcomes.