Recommendations prioritize strategies to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia

July 16, 2014

Thousands of critically ill patients on life support develop ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) each year. A new document released today by a consortium of professional organizations helps prioritize strategies to prevent this potentially fatal infection.

This guidance, featured in the update of the Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals, is published in the August issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology and was produced in a collaborative effort led by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Hospital Association, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, and The Joint Commission. Included in the guidance are specific recommendations for implementation in acute care facilities for adults, pediatric and neonatal patient populations.

"Because the Compendium consists of guidance documents rather than guidelines, we have flexibility to include recommendations where the formal grading of the quality of evidence is relatively low but where experts agree that the potential benefits outweigh potential risks and costs," said Michael Klompas, MD, MPH, a co-lead author with Sean Berenholtz, MD, MHS. "This is especially important for younger patient populations where evidence is sparse."

The guidance includes basic prevention strategies, as well as special approaches that can be considered for hospitals with VAP rates that are not improving despite high performance rates on basic practices. Also included are common attributes of successfully implemented care improvement programs since accountability is necessary to consistent and effective execution of prevention strategies.

Prevention strategies highlighted by the authors include:

  • For adult patients:
    • Avoid intubation if possible.
    • Minimize sedation.
    • Assess readiness to extubate daily.
    • Encourage exercise and mobilization.
    • Use endotracheal tubes with subglottic secretion drainage for high risk patients.
    • Elevate the head of the bed.
  • For pediatric and neonatal patients:
    • Avoid intubation if possible.
    • Minimize the duration of mechanical ventilation.
    • Provide regular oral care (toothbrushing, gauze or sterile water only depending on age).
    • Elevate the head of the bed (pediatric patients only).

The new practice recommendations are a part of Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals: 2014 Updates, a series of articles sharing evidence-based strategies to help healthcare professionals effectively control and prevent the spread of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The 2014 release revises the initial 2008 Compendium publication.

Explore further: Expert guidance highlights practices to reduce prevalence of catheter-associated UTIs

Related Stories

Expert guidance highlights practices to reduce prevalence of catheter-associated UTIs

April 8, 2014
New expert guidance highlights strategies for implementing and prioritizing efforts to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) in hospitals. The practice recommendations, published in the May issue of ...

Expert CLABSI guidance adds real world implementation strategies

June 11, 2014
As central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) pose a danger to vulnerable patients, infection prevention and control experts released new practical recommendations to assist acute care hospitals in implementing ...

New strategies to combat MRSA in hospitals

June 11, 2014
New guidelines aim to reduce the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), improve patient safety and prioritize current prevention efforts underway in hospitals. This drug resistant bacterium is a ...

Expert guidance strengthens strategies to prevent most common and costly infection

May 6, 2014
Surgical site infections (SSIs) are the most common and costly healthcare-associated infection (HAI) in the United States. New evidence-based recommendations provide a framework for healthcare institutions to prioritize and ...

Cases of drug-resistant superbug significantly rise in southeastern US

July 16, 2014
Cases of the highly contagious, drug-resistant bacteria, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), have increased fivefold in community hospitals in the Southeastern United States, according to a new study published ...

Infection control practices not adequately implemented at many hospital ICUs

January 29, 2014
U.S. hospital intensive care units (ICUs) show uneven compliance with infection prevention policies, according to a study in the February issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the ...

Recommended for you

Research examines lung cell turnover as risk factor and target for treatment of influenza pneumonia

July 24, 2017
Influenza is a recurring global health threat that, according to the World Health Organization, is responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths every year, most due to influenza pneumonia, or viral pneumonia. Infection with ...

Scientists propose novel therapy to lessen risk of obesity-linked disease

July 24, 2017
With obesity related illnesses a global pandemic, researchers propose in the Journal of Clinical Investigation using a blood thinner to target molecular drivers of chronic metabolic inflammation in people eating high-fat ...

Raccoon roundworm—a hidden human parasite?

July 24, 2017
The raccoon that topples your trashcan and pillages your garden may leave more than just a mess. More likely than not, it also contaminates your yard with parasites—most notably, raccoon roundworms (Baylisascaris procyonis).

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.