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Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

Our Goal: Zero Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia Rate

At Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, outcomes for preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in the pediatric critical care unit (PCCU) and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) are among national best practices. Keeping track of how we're doing, makes our safety transformation efforts more effective. In addition, what we learn can help other children's hospitals improve.

Why We Measure

VAP is a serious lung infection that can be easily contracted. A ventilator carries oxygen to the lungs through a tube. VAP can occur when bacteria enters the tube and is inhaled into the patient's lungs.

If your child is or has recently been on a ventilator, he or she is susceptible to VAP. Children who develop VAP:

  • Require longer stays in the intensive care units and in the hospital
  • Are at increased risk of death
  • Experience significantly higher health care costs

Figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, show that VAP:

  • Is the second most common health care associated infection that occurs in intensive care units
  • Occurs in 3 to 10 percent of pediatric patients who receive ventilator assistance

How We Measure

The PCCU and NICU calculate VAP cases separately. The rate is defined as the number of VAP cases per 1,000 ventilator days. For example:

  • If two children are each on a ventilator for five days, it accounts for 10 ventilator days.
  • If three children each need a ventilator for one, five and 10 days, respectively, it accounts for 16 ventilator days.