Minnesota Hospital Association

Quality & Patient Safety

Ventilator-associated Events

Mechanical ventilation is an essential, life-saving therapy for patients in the modern intensive care unit (ICU). Unfortunately, mechanical ventilation can increase a patient's risk of developing ventilator-associated events (VAE) such as ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). It is estimated that 10 to 20 percent of ventilated patients develop VAP. VAP is associated with increased lengths of ICU and hospital stay, extended duration of mechanical ventilation, increased mortality rates, increased use of antimicrobials, and increased costs. VAP is the most common and associated with the highest mortality among hospital-onset infections that occur in the ICU setting.    

Evidence-based interventions can reduce the risk of complications and the occurrence of VAE. Examples of essential prevention measures include excellent hand hygiene, patient positioning and mobilization, oral care, managing oropharyngeal and tracheal secretions, and sedation vacation.

Download the VAE road map.

The VAE road map is a succinct approach to VAE prevention for hospitals of all sizes incorporating nationally recognized best practices and guidance. The VAE toolkit below is a collection of supporting documents, resources and tools to assist hospitals in implementing the road map.

For more information, contact the MHA quality and patient safety team