Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is an infection of the lungs that affects people who are on mechanical ventilation. Mechanical ventilation is done with a machine that helps you breathe. Pneumonia affects the small airways and air sacs in the lungs.
VAP is commonly caused by specific bacteria. The tube that goes into the lungs makes it easier for bacteria to enter deep into the lungs.
Factors that may increase the chances of VAP:
VAP may cause:
Your doctor will review your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will also be done. Tests may include:
Treatment depends on which bacteria are causing the pneumonia. Your doctor will discuss the best treatment plan with you. Treatment options include:
To help reduce the chances of VAP, the healthcare team will:
American Lung Association
American Thoracic Society
Public Health Agency of Canada
The 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.
Koenig SM, Truwit JD. Ventilator-associated pneumonia: diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Clin Microbio Rev. 2006;19(4):637-657.
Ventilator-associated pneumonia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/HAI/vap/vap.html. Updated May 17, 2012. Accessed February 16, 2018.
Ventilator-associated pneumonia. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113967/Ventilator-associated-pneumonia. Updated June 23, 2017. Accessed February 16, 2018.
Last reviewed February 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board David L. Horn, MD, FACP
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.