What is VAP (ventilator-associated pneumonia)?

 

Ventilator-associated pneumonia is the most common and lethal form of hospital-acquired (nosocomial) pneumonia. The occurrence of VAP varies greatly, ranging from 6 to 52% of patients (1) who need to be placed on a breathing machine (mechanical ventilation) for more than 48 hours. (2) Having a breathing tube placed in the windpipe to assist a patient to breath (endotracheal intubation) and mechanical ventilation predispose a patient to VAP by interfering with the body’s normal defense mechanisms that keep microorganisms out of the lungs.

 

How can I help reduce my risk of acquiring VAP?

 

There is no one specific thing that you, as a patient, can do to prevent VAP. The best prevention is to keep yourself healthy so that there is no need for you to be placed on a breathing machine. In case you do need to be placed on a breathing machine, you and your family should have the procedure explained to you by your healthcare provider and have your questions and concerns answered.

 

References:

 

(1) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

(2) Institute for Healthcare Improvement

 

For more information regarding VAP, the following websites may prove helpful:



Related Links:

 

The Safe Care Campaign


The Safe Care Campaign's goal is to investigate a crucial, culture-change within the American healthcare environment in regard to comprehensive infection prevention and hand hygiene.

 

Nursing 2008 Peer-to-Peer Website

 

Nursing 2008 has been peer-reviewed and evidence-based since our first issue, in 1971. Our mission is to improve nursing practice by providing evidence-based practical information with a reader-friendly approach.

 

 

Skin is the Source

 

The skin is the source website is dedicated to reducing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) by educating patients that skin is often the source of HAIs.

 

Other Resources: