A Novel Oncodental Collaborative Team: Integrating Expertise for Central Line–Associated Bloodstream Infection Prevention in Pediatric Oncology Patients
Full-length article is available online at ascopubs.org
Kandice Bledsaw, BSN1,2; Zachary D. Prudowsky, MD1,3; Esther Yang, DDS3,4; Claudia X. Harriehausen, DDS, MSD3,4; Jenell Robins, BSDH, RDH1,3,4; Janet DeJean, MSN1; Sharon Staton, MS-SSEM, BSN1; Judith R. Campbell, MD3,5,6; Andrea L. Davis, MPH6; Anil George, MD1,3; David Steffin, MD1,3; and Alexandra M. Stevens, MD, PhD1,3
PURPOSE Pediatric oncology and bone marrow transplant patients are at high risk of infection, and limitations to dental expertise among medical providers render patients vulnerable to central line–associated bloodstream infections from oral pathogens. Traditionally, oral health maintenance relied on patients and bedside nurses; however, routine methods are often suboptimal to prevent central line–associated bloodstream infection in high-risk patients. Limited overlap of medical and dental expertise, and limited dental resources in typical oncology units, prevent optimal oral care for children with cancer, requiring novel solutions to better integrate specialties.
METHODS Here, we outline the creation of a novel Pediatric oncodental team to address oral-systemic infection prevention strategies for high-risk patients.
RESULTS Our oncology and dental teams created a systematic approach for increasing oral surveillance and treatment in select high-risk patients. Supervised pediatric dental residents participated in scheduled oncology
rounds, and a permanent oral health educator with a background in dental hygiene was also hired as a dedicated dental professional within our oncology department.
CONCLUSION Our pediatric oncodental team aims to sustain optimal oral complication prevention strategies to reduce the risk of infection, provide education on the significance of the oral-systemic link in cancer care, and
improve access and continuity of care.
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JCO Oncol Pract 00. © 2022 by American Society of Clinical Oncology