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Grand Rounds
June 20, 2012

Preventing Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia: Does the Evidence Support the Practice?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Critical Care Medicine Department (Dr O’Grady), Department of Laboratory Medicine (Dr Murray), Department of Nursing and Patient Care Services (Dr Ames), Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

JAMA. 2012;307(23):2534-2539. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.6445

Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is among the most common infections in patients requiring endotracheal tubes with mechanical ventilation. Ventilator-associated pneumonia is associated with increased hospital costs, a greater number of days in the intensive care unit, longer duration of mechanical ventilation, and higher mortality. Despite widely accepted recommendations for interventions designed to reduce rates of VAP, few studies have assessed the ability of these interventions to improve patient outcomes. As the understanding of VAP advances and new technologies to reduce VAP become available, studies should directly assess patient outcomes before the health care community implements specific prevention approaches in clinical practice.