VAP is an infection of the lower respiratory tract. The lower respiratory tract includes:
VAP affects people who are using a ventilator. This is a machine that helps you breath. VAP is a serious condition. It requires care from a doctor.
VAP is commonly caused by bacteria, such as:
The tube that goes into the lungs makes it easier for bacteria to enter deep into the lungs. This bacteria causes infection.
These factors increase your chance of developing VAP:
Symptoms of VAP may include:
Your doctor will review your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will also be done. Tests may include:
Treatment depends on which germs are causing the pneumonia. Your doctor will discuss the best treatment plan with you. Treatment options include:
To reduce your chance of VAP, the hospital staff will:
American Lung Association
American Thoracic Society
The Canadian Lung Association
American Thoracic Society. Guidelines for the management of adults with hospital-acquired, ventilator-associated, and healthcare-associated pneumonia. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2005;171(4):388-416.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ventilator-associated pneumonia: resources for patients and healthcare providers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/dpac_ventilate.html. Updated March 16, 2010. Accessed November 11, 2010.
DynaMed Editorial Team. Nosocomial pneumonia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated October 5, 2010. Accessed November 11, 2010.
Koenig SM, Truwit JD. Ventilator-associated pneumonia: diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Clin Microbio Rev. 2006;19(4):637-657.
Schub E, Schub T. Pneumonia, ventilator-associated. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=16&topicID=860. Updated February 26, 2010. Accessed May 20, 2010.
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. FAQs about ventilator-associated pneumonia. Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America website. Available at: http://www.shea-online.org/Assets/files/patient%20guides/NNL_VAP.pdf. Accessed June 22, 2010.
Last reviewed June 2013 by Marcin Chwistek, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.