JOURNAL ARTICLE

Effects of staff training on the care of mechanically ventilated patients: a prospective cohort study

F Bloos, S Müller, A Harz, M Gugel, D Geil, K Egerland, K Reinhart, G Marx
British Journal of Anaesthesia 2009, 103 (2): 232-7
19457893

BACKGROUND: Adherence to guidelines to avoid complications associated with mechanical ventilation is often incomplete. The goal of this study was to assess whether staff training in pre-defined interventions (bundle) improves the quality of care in mechanically ventilated patients.

METHODS: This study was performed on a 50-bed intensive care unit of a tertiary care university hospital. Application of a ventilator bundle consisting of semirecumbent positioning, lung protective ventilation in patients with acute lung injury (ALI), ulcer prophylaxis, and deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis (DVTP) was assessed before and after staff training in post-surgical patients requiring mechanical ventilation for at least 24 h.

RESULTS: A total of 133 patients before and 141 patients after staff training were included. Overall bundle adherence increased from 15 to 33.8% (P<0.001). Semirecumbent position was achieved in 24.9% of patient days before and 46.9% of patient days after staff training (P<0.001). Administration of DVTP increased from 89.5 to 91.5% (P=0.048). Ulcer prophylaxis of >90% was achieved in both groups. Median tidal volume in patients with ALI remained unaltered. Days on mechanical ventilation were reduced from 6 (interquartile range 2.0-15.0) to 4 (2.0-9.0) (P=0.017). Rate of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), ICU length of stay, and ICU mortality remained unaffected. In patients with VAP, the median ICU length of stay was reduced by 9 days (P=0.04).

CONCLUSIONS: Staff training by an ICU change team improved compliance to a pre-defined ventilator bundle. This led to a reduction in the days spent on mechanical ventilation, despite incomplete bundle implementation.

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