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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia: an evidence-based systematic review.

Collard HR, Saint S, Matthay MA. Annals of internal medicine. 2003;138:494-501.

Health care–associated infections (HAIs) are a common adverse event in hospitalized patients and an increasing source of study for preventive strategies. Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is one of the four most common HAIs along with catheter-related bloodstream infection, catheter-associated urinary tract infection, and surgical site infection. This systematic review provides a series of recommendations to reduce the incidence of VAP, including use of semi-recumbent positioning, sucralfate rather than H2-antagonists, and aspiration of subglottic secretions in select patient populations. The authors point out that while many studies highlight the success of preventive strategies, no randomized trial has evaluated the effects of combining the preventive practices as an additive bundle or checklist.