Mouth Care Swabs
Mouth Care Swabs are used in palliative and end of life care for oral care procedure. It should be stressed that the swabs are not effective at removing plaque.
In September 2015 Health Education England announced the use of the traditional pink mouth sponge swabs had been banned, following an incident in Wales where a pink mouth sponge was used by a carer, the sponge head became detached which led to a death. There have been over 800 safety incidents reported since April 2008 whereby the sponge head has come off either because it has become loose or because the resident/patient has bitten down on the sponge.
In England, these mouth sponge swabs are on a Medical Device Alert (MDA/2012/020) The sponges are not designed to be soaked as the liquid can cause the head to loosen and detach and therefore there poses a risk of choking.