ARTICLEVentilator-Associated Pneumonia: The Importance of Oral Care in Intubated AdultsStonecypher, Karen RN, MSN, CRRNAuthor Information Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, Texas. Correspondence: Karen Stonecypher, RN, MSN, CRRN, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 2002 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030 (Karen.firstname.lastname@example.org). I thank Pamela Willson, PhD, RN; Stephen Seder, DDS; Patricia A. Byers, RM, M(ASCP), CIC, MRSA Prevention Coordinator; Michael E. DeBakey, VA Medical Center, Houston, Texas; for informational assistance. Critical Care Nursing Quarterly: October/December 2010 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - p 339-347 doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0b013e3181f649a6 Buy Metrics Abstract Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) occurs within 24 hours of intubation and mechanical ventilation. Health care costs related to increased patient mortality, extended length of stay, and patient well-being make treatment of VAP a priority in all health care settings. The Institute for Healthcare Improvements has developed the Ventilator Bundle as a group of interventions linked to ventilator care with demonstrated outcome improvements; removal of subglottic secretions is one of these recommendations. Dental plaque and bacterial colonization of pathogens is directly related to microaspiration of bacteria into the lungs. A moist environment in the mouth maintains normal oropharyngeal bacteria, preventing overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria. Frequent oral care to include twice-a-day brushing of the teeth found a 69% reduction in respiratory tract infections. © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.