Dryness of mouth in PACU

  1. I am trying to gather evidence/literature that lemon glycerine swabs in PACU are not helping the patients relieve their dry mouths. Any suggestions? Thank you.
  2. Visit btrfly76 profile page

    About btrfly76, RN

    Joined: Jun '03; Posts: 21; Likes: 3
    Staff Nurse
    Specialty: 35 year(s) of experience


  3. by   dianah
    I did a brief google search and came up with this article:


    Mentions use of lemon-glycerine swabs potentially contributing to dry mouth, as the glycerine dehydrates (article is written in context of supportive care for people undergoing rad. and chemotx).

    I have no direct experience to contribute, hope someone is able/willing to chime in to help.

    Good luck!
  4. by   Babs0512
    We use those pink, minty swabs. I was surprised that when I read the ingredients listed on the swab, "mannitol" was one of the ingredients.

    I believe in ice chips, I used them sparingly, but they really help the patient to be more comfortable. I've also found I need less pain medication if patients are perceiving our attempts at distraction and making them more comfortable.
  5. by   anne74
    We just pulled all the lemon swabs I guess because of this article - but I couldn't find anything about it in the linked article.

    Now we just use the pink sponge swabs dipped in ice water. Then, we graduate to ice chips. I think a lot of the patients disliked the lemon swabs - they tasted kind of funky anyway.
  6. by   kezza444
    We use ice chips and graduate to sips of water. This seems to work well.
  7. by   All4Seasons
    I can't see Lemon-Glycerin swabs helping when even sips of cold water don't help - it just takes time - most of our pts are given Atropine in the early intraop phase to reduce oral secretions,leaving them with an intensely dry mouth when they wake up in PACU
  8. by   Babs0512
    Narcotics also add to the dry mouth!
  9. by   blinks14
    I wish I had the exact resources but I fought this at the surgical hospital I recently left because I had read varying reports that these swabs do contribute to dry mouth and are damaging to the mucosa. When I would find them on the unit I would get rid of them because of that. And also because we dealt with healthy post-surgical patients who should be drinking fluids anyway.
  10. by   ativanni
    We never use these. I didn't even know they still made them! We use the green foam swabs and dip them in H2O.
    If they are awake enough we use ice chips.