Reduction in the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia: a multidisciplinary approach

Alejandro C Arroliga, Claire L Pollard, Callie D Wilde, Shad J Pellizzari, Ahmad Chebbo, Juhee Song, Joann Ordner, Stacy Cormier, Tricia Meyer
Respiratory Care 2012, 57 (5): 688-96

BACKGROUND: We report the process implemented in our institution by a task force focused on the reduction of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).

METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of all adults admitted to one of our 4 adult ICUs, intubated on invasive mechanical ventilation. We implemented a ventilator bundle in April of 2007; we report the incidence of VAP in 2008, and, after adjustment in the process (oral care performed by respiratory therapists), the incidence in 2009. The primary outcome was reduction of the microbiologically confirmed VAP rate over a 2 year period. Other outcomes were duration of mechanical ventilation, antibiotic days, ICU and hospital stay, and mortality.

RESULTS: During the study period, 2,588 patients received invasive mechanical ventilation in the adult ICUs. The VAP rate during 2008 was 4.3/1,000 ventilator days, and the 2009 rate was 1.2/1,000 ventilator days. The 2008 to 2009 VAP rate ratio was significantly greater than 1 (rate ratio 3.6, 95% CI 1.8-8.0, P < .001). Antibiotic days were less in 2009 versus 2008 (Hodges-Lehmann estimate of difference between 2008 and 2009, 1.0, 95% CI 0.0-1.0, P = .002). The median stay in the ICU was unchanged, and in the hospital was decreased in 2009 (Hodges-Lehmann estimate of difference between 2008 and 2009, 1.0, 95% CI 0.0-1.0, P < .001). The hospital mortality was 26.1%, and there was no difference between the 2 years. Adherence with the ventilator bundle was above 92% during the study period, but the oral care adherence improved from 33% to 97% after respiratory therapists assumed oral care.

CONCLUSIONS: Reduction of the incidence of VAP occurred with an intervention that included respiratory therapists doing oral care in patients receiving invasive mechanical ventilation. Oral care done by respiratory therapists may be associated with reduction of VAP.

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