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.