In the middle of the night in June 2015, David Yoskowitz’s experience woke him with a groundbreaking idea: a cold mouthpiece that would combat chemotherapy-associated mouth sores.
While more than one-third of patients will discontinue treatment from oral mucositis, a new intraoral ice pack can help patients reduce their pain and inflammation associated with chemotherapy.
Following his own mother’s journey and eventual passing from a rare liver sarcoma, David Yoskowitz — founder of Chemo Mouthpiece – faced his own bout with Hodgkin lymphoma less than 1 year later. Following chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Yoskowitz is now 5 years cancer-free.
In the middle of the night in June 2015, Yoskowitz’s experience woke him with a groundbreaking idea: a cold mouthpiece that would combat chemotherapy-associated mouth sores.
In an interview with Oncology Nursing News, Yoskowitz discussed the product and how nurses can learn more.
Oncology Nursing News: Where did the idea come from?
Yoskowitz: The most uncomfortable thing I had to deal with during chemotherapy at the infusion center was having to suck on ice chips. It was terribly uncomfortable on my teeth. It was really hard to continuously suck on ice chips to keep from the chemo drugs from getting into your gums. Many patients can’t even deal with the sensitivity issue. I was able to, but it doesn’t really do much to the top of your mouth because of gravity. So, it really only helps cool the bottom of your mouth, while the top of my mouth still had many mouth sores.
So, (it came to me) in the middle of the night. I woke up and I remember it was about a year after my treatment in the middle of 2015. I told my wife I had this crazy, great idea that God had given me. After 4 years of development, here we are today on the market with an ice pack to be used inside the mouth — something that never existed.
How does it work?
The simplest (way to explain) it is that it is in an oral ice pack you take out of the freezer and bring to treatment. Chemo Mouthpiece has two chambers: an inner chamber filled with pure water and an outer chamber filled with salt water. When patients freeze the mouthpiece in their standard home freezer, the inner chamber will be frozen solid while the outer salt water chamber will stay ice cold. This allows ice cold water to circulate through the mouthpiece and presses comfortably against a patient’s gums. The device is one size fits most adults.
The device is now available, what should patients know about the product?
It can be purchased our website at chemomouthpiece.com. The kit includes two mouth pieces as well as a portable cooler and carrying case which allows the patient to transport a frozen mouthpiece to their treatment. It also includes 2 insulated sleeves, 2 cleaning brushes, and ice packs to put in the cooler. The kit is for sale for $299.99 and a patient kit will last the entire course of treatment.
We often talk with our nursing audience about these side effects, how can nurses play a role in helping patients learn more about this product?
Nurses can receive literature, a digital brochure, and our display, which will get more information out to the patients. For the nurses, we do offer a discount code they can give to patients. The nurses are extremely vital in helping pass information along to patients. Patient comfort is very important to Chemo Mouthpiece and together with the nurses, we can spread the word that there is now a product that could really help.