What is a Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP)?
For our public reporting purposes, ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) is defined as a pneumonia (lung infection) occurring in patients in an intensive care unit (ICU), requiring, external mechanical breathing support (a ventilator) intermittently or continuously, through a breathing tube for more than 48 hours.
VAP can develop in patients for many reasons. Because they are relying on an external machine to breath, their normal coughing, yawning, and deep breath reflexes are suppressed. Furthermore, they may have a depressed immune system, making them more vulnerable to infection. ICU teams have many ways to try to assist patients with these normal breathing reflexes, but despite this, patients are still at risk for developing pneumonia
Posting VAP Rates
All hospitals with ICUs are required to report into the Critical Care Information System (CCIS) – a centralized data collection system where hospitals report a variety of critical care information. This information is used to calculate the VAP data that must be publicly reported.
Ontario hospitals with ICUs are posting their quarterly VAP rate. This rate is calculated as a ratio per 1000 ventilator days.
The total “ventilator days” represents the sum total of the number of days during which a patient was ventilated in ICU. For example, if there were 2 ventilated patients in ICU on April 21, 2009 the total ventilator days are 2.
Total # of ICU cases of VAP after 48 hours of mechanical ventilation x 1000
What can patients do to help reduce their chances of infection?
Frequent hand cleaning is a good way to prevent the spread of infection. Hand hygiene involves everyone in the hospital, including patients. More patient-specific information is available at www.ontario.ca and www.oha.com