Ventilator Associated Pneumonia Prevention
Every year, patients across the UK are diagnosed with Hospital Acquired Pneumonia (HAP)- an infection of the lung tissue that develops as a result of being admitted to a hospital. Those patients with HAP have both an increased length of stay, and a higher mortality risk. Patients especially at risk for HAP are those who are on mechanical ventilation. These infections are known as Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) and are one of the leading mortality causes from infection in the intensive care unit¹. According to NHS, 10,000-20,000 patients are diagnosed with VAP annually².
It is important for caregivers, patients, and family members to understand the risks of VAP, as well as possible care techniques for reducing the likelihood of infection. Resources on the impact, risk factors for VAP, and education are available.
VAP is the most common infection among patients staying in the intensive care unit (ICU). Certain conditions or risk factors may increase the likelihood of patients developing VAP.
The high prevalence of VAP in the ICU can impact patients and staff, as well as have financial implications for the hospital.
It is necessary for healthcare professionals to be aware that there are several techniques and precautions that can help patients reduce the risk of developing VAP.
VAP is a serious health risk to patients and whether in the hospital or nursing home, good oral hygiene is essential to fewer infections and an overall sense of patient satisfaction.
¹ British Journal of Medical Practitioners, Ventilator Associated Pneumonia – an Overview, 2009, Available at: www.bjmp.org
² NHS England, NHS Chief launches new fast track funding so NHS patients get treatment innovations faster, June 2016, Available at: www.england.nhs.uk
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