Essential Oils in the ICU

  1. Hello all

    We want to start using essential oils in our ICU for increased patient and family satisfaction for all those pleasant odors that float around. Wondering if anyone has implemented this or if there are any resources you could share.

    Thanks ahead of time!!!
  2. Visit beanrn1202 profile page

    About beanrn1202, BSN

    Joined: Aug '15; Posts: 12; Likes: 3


  3. by   dianah
    With a Google search, found several articles and places that are implementing this (one is Northern Nevada Medical Center in Reno, NV).
    Check it out.
  4. by   AnchoredRN
    I just started nursing school BUT I use them in my daily life and love them!
  5. by   pfchang
    As someone who has sensitivity to smells, have you had input from others with these sensitivities? Interesting ideas and I will google the facility noted above.
  6. by   beanrn1202
    Thank you for the reply
  7. by   beanrn1202
    Are there any particular sites, brands, books that you particularly like? Thanks
  8. by   beanrn1202
    We have thought about that as well as a lot of our Veterans have PTSD so a certain scent could trigger a memory; there is a lot to consider!
  9. by   Kayauhs
    Don't do it.

    Do any of you remember the first week of nursing school and they instructed us to NOT WEAR PERFUME? What happened to that?

    1). There are NO double-blind scientific studies to PROVE that essential oils work.

    2). There is absolutely NO regulation of essential oils to provide safe levels. Is 4 drops enough? Is 6 drops toxic? No one knows.

    3). Not everyone can tolerate having the air saturated with this crap. I'm highly allergic and the bandwagon laden down with these oils is
    making me SICK.



    6). Popularity and anectodal statements do not and will never replace science based evidence. Small studies don't qualify either.

    (I think I'm losing my mind over this issue).
  10. by   Kayauhs
    My state board of nursing clearly defines that I do not need to administer medications that are not FDA approved.
  11. by   amoLucia
    This is an older post.

    Just a simple example - I can't tolerate the smell of eucalyptus. Simple eucalyptus. Present in so many dried floral arrangements and room deodorizers and sachets thingeys.

    Makes me sneeze and snot, eyes tearing. Headache after a while.

    I don't think I would want to work in an environment that smelled up the air around-the- clock. I wouldn't be able to just walk away from it.
  12. by   Oldmahubbard
    I cheat and wear a little perfume at times, but essential oils? You're kidding, right?
  13. by   Reyn04
    I know this is an old post but had experience with a family that slatheted the pt in scented oils (they were "treating" him with oils & refusing many meds but thd pt was so slick with oil its a wonder he didnt slide off the bed.)

    Out experience was that the scent was overwhelming in the unit & many people with sensitivities & allergies complained. Several staff members were unable to care for the pt due to the smell. This is why many hospitals use fragerance free items to begin with.
  14. by   Marymoomoo
    Diffusing essential oils is much different than pouring oils all over a patient (topical use should be used sparingly, and well diluted).

    Here's some research:
    "The focus of integrative therapies is on symptom control rather than cure. Nurses therapeutically use essential oils to enhance comfort, relieve pain, promote relaxation, alleviate sleep disturbances, reduce stress and anxiety, improve coping, and increase their patients' sense of well-being.3,4 Let the studies continue so that the scientific legitimacy of these interventions can be assessed further."

    "Sleep deprivation in hospitalized patients is common and can have serious detrimental effects on recovery from illness. Lavender aromatherapy has improved sleep in a variety of clinical settings, but the effect has not been tested in the intermediate care unit...Conclusion Lavender aromatherapy may be an effective way to improve sleep in an intermediate care unit."
    Effect of Lavender Aromatherapy on Vital Signs and Perceived Quality of Sleep in the Intermediate Care Unit: A Pilot Study

    "There were 10,262 hospital admissions during the study time frame in which nurse-delivered aromatherapy was part of patient care. The majority of admissions receiving aromatherapy were females (81.71%) and white (87.32%). Over 75% of all aromatherapy sessions were administered via inhalation. Lavender had the highest absolute frequency (49.5%) of use regardless of mode of administration, followed by ginger (21.2%), sweet marjoram (12.3%), mandarin (9.4%), and combination oils (7.6%). Sweet marjoram resulted in the largest single oil average pain change at −3.31 units (95% CI: −4.28, −2.33), while lavender and sweet marjoram had equivalent average anxiety changes at −2.73 units, and ginger had the largest single oil average change in nausea at −2.02 units (95% CI: −2.55, −1.49)."
    The effectiveness of nurse-delivered aromatherapy in an acute care setting - ScienceDirect

    "Conclusion: Aromatherapy with lavender essential oil might reduce depression and stress among hemodialysis patients. Therefore, this method can be used as a complementary method with less complication to improve the quality of life of these patients."
    The Effect of Aromatherapy with Lavender Essential Oil on Depression, Anxiety and Stress in Hemodialysis Patients: A Clinical Trial

    "Given its positive effects on hemodynamic indices, aromatherapy can be used as an effective alternative therapy"

    "In conclusion, the aromatherapy effectively reduced the anxiety levels and increased the sleep quality of PCI patients admitted to the ICU. Aromatherapy may be used as an independent nursing intervention for reducing the anxiety levels and improving the sleep quality of PCI patients."

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