Successful prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia in an intensive care setting

Alexandre R Marra, Ruy Guilherme Rodrigues Cal, Cláudia Vallone Silva, Raquel Afonso Caserta, Angela Tavares Paes, Denis Faria Moura, Oscar Fernando Pavão dos Santos, Michael B Edmond, Marcelino Souza Durão
American Journal of Infection Control 2009, 37 (8): 619-25

BACKGROUND: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is one of the most common health care-associated infections (HAIs) in critical care settings.

OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to examine the effect of a series of interventions, implemented in 3 different periods to reduce the incidence of VAP in an intensive care unit (ICU).

METHODS: A quasiexperimental study was conducted in a medical-surgical ICU. Multiple interventions to optimize VAP prevention were performed during different phases. From March 2001 to December 2002 (phase 1: P1), some Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evidence-based practices were implemented. From January 2003 to December 2006 (P2), we intervened in these processes at the same time that performance monitoring was occurring at the bedside, and, from January 2007 to September 2008 (P3), we continued P2 interventions and implemented the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's ventilator bundle plus oral decontamination with chlorhexidine and continuous aspiration of subglottic secretions.

RESULTS: The incidence density of VAP in the ICU per 1000 patient-days was 16.4 in phase 1, 15.0 in phase 2, and 10.4 in phase 3, P=.05. Getting to zero VAP was possible only in P3 when compliance with all interventions exceeded 95%.

CONCLUSION: These results suggest that reducing VAP rates to zero is a complex process that involves multiple performance measures and interventions.

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