by Alexandra Howson, PhD
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is an infection of the lungs. It affects people who are on mechanical ventilation. Most who need ventilation are very ill and in a care setting. Pneumonia affects the small airways and air sacs in the lungs. It can make it difficult for oxygen to pass into the body.
VAP is commonly caused by specific bacteria. Mechanical ventilation can increase the risk of pneumonia. The tube that is needed in the throat makes it easier for bacteria to get deep into the lungs.
Factors that may increase the chances of VAP:
VAP may cause:
The doctor will review symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. Tests may include:
Treatment depends on which bacteria are causing the pneumonia. Treatment options include:
To help reduce the chances of VAP, the care team will:
American Lung Association
American Thoracic Society
Public Health Agency of Canada
The Lung Association
Koenig SM, Truwit JD. Ventilator-associated pneumonia: diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Clin Microbio Rev. 2006;19(4):637-657.
Ventilator-associated pneumonia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/HAI/vap/vap.html. Updated May 17, 2012. Accessed January 11, 2019.
Ventilator-associated pneumonia. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed... . Updated October 25, 2018. Accessed January 11, 2019.
Last reviewed January 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Monica Zangwill, MD, MPH
Last Updated: 1/8/2019
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