Nosocomial pneumonia in mechanically ventilated patients, a prospective randomised evaluation of the Stericath closed suctioning system

P Combes, B Fauvage, C Oleyer
Intensive Care Medicine 2000, 26 (7): 878-82

OBJECTIVE: To compare the ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) incidence rates in mechanically ventilated patients according to the type of endotracheal suctioning (closed versus open).

SETTING: The Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit of the Grenoble University Hospital, France.

DESIGN: A prospective randomised study performed after a 6-month period of nursing personnel training.

PATIENTS: One hundred four consecutive patients needing mechanical ventilation for more than 48 h were randomised into two groups. To be eligible, patients had to have no active infection or respiratory affection in their passes. In the Stericath group (S+, n = 54), patients were not disconnected from the ventilator during suctioning. The others were routinely managed (S-, n = 50). In both groups patterns of frequency and duration of suctioning were performed according to a standardised protocol.

MEASUREMENTS: The non-adjusted incidence rate of VAP was lower for S+ than for S- (7.32 versus 15.89 per 1000 patient-days, p = 0.07). Multivariate analysis performed using the Cox model showed an adjusted risk of VAP 3.5 times higher in S- (95% CI: 11.00-12.33). The risk being 4.3 higher in patients receiving gastric acid secretion inhibitors (1.08-16.82). In non-censored cases (n = 76) length of ICU stay increased by an average of 16.8 days when VAP was present (p = 0.0008). No adverse effect due to Stericath use was noted and volume of tracheal aspirate was similar between groups (p = 0.178).

CONCLUSION: The use of Stericath reduced the incidence rate of VAP without demonstrating any adverse effect.

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