A Sweet Solution

The Use of Medical-Grade Honey on Oral Mucositis in the Pediatric Oncology Patient

Ferne T. Elsass, MSN, RN, CPN, CWON

Disclosures

Wounds. 2017;29(12):E115-E117. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Introduction. Pediatric patients develop mucositis when receiving treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation; the most common and sensitive is oral mucositis. Mouth rinses containing antimicrobial, antihistamine, and analgesic medications are the mainstay for pediatric patients; however, patients often refuse these rinses due to the taste or texture. Also, patients under 1 year of age are unable to use these products.

Objective. Herein, the improvement of oral mucositis with standard oral care and additional use of active Leptospermum honey in pediatric oncology patients after chemotherapy is demonstrated.

Materials and Methods. Patients received oral care every 4 hours followed by application of the honey paste 3 times daily. The honey paste was applied with a sponge swab to coat the mouth. Patients either swished and spit or had excess honey suctioned out. At completion of this evaluation, the honey treatment was used in 10 pediatric oncology patients between the ages of 9 months and 17 years.

Results. The Leptospermum honey paste was easy to apply and was well received by all patients. Healing was observed within 3 days, and patients in all cases reported decreases in pain. Decreased wounds and bleeding were evident in all cases within 5 days.

Conclusions. Leptospermum honey paste proved to be effective in all participating patients.

Introduction

Pediatric patients develop mucositis when receiving treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. The gastrointestinal mucosa's epithelial cells divide quickly, which leads to breakdown and painful ulceration. Oral mucositis is the most common form, in which patients develop painful bleeding ulcerations and thick mucoid saliva, and the lips eventually will crack and bleed.[1] Mouth rinses containing antimicrobial, antihistamine, and analgesic medications are the mainstay for pediatric patients, but they are often rejected due to the taste or texture. In addition, patients under 1 year of age are unable to use these products. Since continued oral mucositis leads to increased pain and inability to eat, an alternative to the standard treatments is needed.[1] The objective of this study is to improve oral comfort and improve nourishment in the pediatric oncology patient.

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