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Ventilator associated pneumonia

Focusing on quality to reduce ventilator associated pneumonia

Ventilator associated pneumonia – referred to as VAP – is a serious hospital-acquired infection of the lungs. A patient who must use a ventilator or respirator to aid breathing is at risk of developing VAP. The tube and respirator that are used to help oxygen flow to the lungs may also allow free flow of germs and bacteria into the lungs. Occasionally, this bacteria can settle in the lungs and cause VAP.

Novant Health strives to eliminate all VAP by promoting adherence to safe practices, including:

  • Keeping head of the bed elevated between 30 to 45 degrees
  • Neutralizing stomach acid with medication
  • Keeping a pressure cuff inflated on the breathing tube to block stomach contents
  • Reducing mouth bacteria with oral care
  • Reviewing the need for breathing tube daily and removing it as soon as it is safe
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