Healthcare associated infections (HAI), such as ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), are the most common and most preventable complication of a patient’s hospital stay. Their frequency and potential adverse effects increase in critically ill patients because of impaired physiology, including a blunted immune response and multi-organ dysfunction.
Traditionally, VAP rates have been measured as an indicator of quality of care. Despite recent initiatives to measure complications of mechanical ventilation and a decrease in incidence over the past few years, VAP remains an issue for critically ill adults, with mortality estimated as high as 10%.
This article from Boltey et al. reviews the top five evidence-based nursing practices for reducing VAP risk in critically ill adults.