Minnesota Hospital Association

Quality & Patient Safety

Ventilator-associated events

Mechanical ventilation is an essential, lifesaving 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. This condition is associated with increased lengths of ICU and hospital stays; extended duration of mechanical ventilation; and increases in mortality rates, use of antimicrobials and costs. VAP is the most common – and associated with the highest mortality – among hospital-onset infections that occur in the ICU.    

MHA has developed a VAE road map outlining evidence-based recommendations and standards for the development of prevention and quality improvement programs that align process improvements with outcome data. Road maps reflect published literature and guidance from relevant professional organizations and regulatory agencies, as well as identified proven practices. MHA’s Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Committee provides expert guidance and oversight to all health care-associated infection road maps.    

The VAE road map is a succinct approach to prevent VAE and includes best practices and guidance for hand hygiene, patient positioning and mobilization, oral care, managing oropharyngeal and tracheal secretions, and sedation vacation.

Download the ventilator-associated events (VAE) road map:

VAE road map

VAE webinars