Because of their illnesses, many patients in intensive care units are on mechanical ventilation devices that help them breath. Ventilators can be life-saving, but they also increase a patient’s chance of getting pneumonia by making it easier for germs to get into the their lungs. Ventilator-associated pneumonia can be a very serious infection that a minimum increases time patients are on a ventilator, the length of their hospital stay, and cost of care.
These are measured by the number of pneumonia infections per 1,000 days that patients are on ventilator breathing machines.
MUSC providers work together to wean and remove patients from ventilators as quickly as possible. Our teams closely monitor patients who must remain on ventilator breathing machines using chest X-rays, while also looking for evidence of other factors that indicate an infection (e.g., temperature, elevated white blood cell counts, loss in the lung's ability to exchange gases).
The Centers for Disease Control offers these resources on VAP.