Ventilator Associated Pneumonia
All Ontario hospital with an Intensive Care Unit that ventilates patients are required to publicly report their ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) rate.
The ventilator associated pneumonia rate is calculated as the total number of VAP cases after 48 hours of mechanical ventilation, divided by the total number of ventilator days for ICU patients.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care reports the information for all hospitals on its Health Quality Ontario website at http://www.hqontario.ca/System-Performance/Hospital-Care-Sector-Performance
Ventilator Associated Pneumonia Q&As
What is a Ventilator Associated Pneumonia?
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) for more than 48 hours.
VAP can develop in patients for many reasons. Because they are relying on an external machine to breathe, 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.
What is QHC doing to improve patient safety?
Patient safety remains the most important priority for Quinte Health Care and this involves ensuring that patients are not at risk for contracting healthcare-associated infections. We have a number of practices in place to help prevent and control infections, including a comprehensive hand hygiene program.
To try to reduce the incidence of ventilator associated pneumonia, Safer Healthcare Now! has shared with hospitals a set of best practices that, when used together, can reduce the chances of a patient getting ventilator associated pneumonia. We are incorporating these best practices at QHC.
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. Click here to read more information about hand hygiene.
Click here to read a fact sheet for patients on ventilator associated pneumonia from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.