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Prevention of Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in the Intensive Care Unit: Beyond the Basics

Larrow, Vickie; Klich-Heartt, Eira I.

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: June 2016 - Volume 48 - Issue 3 - p 160–165
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0000000000000195

ABSTRACT Ventilated-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a major concern for hospitals and a major problem for ventilated patients in the intensive care unit. Included in the basics are hand hygiene, wearing gloves, endotracheal tube suctioning, head of bed at 30°, stress ulcer prophylaxis, turning patient side to side at least every two hours, and giving the patient a sedation vacation each morning. Beyond the basics included here are oral hygiene, oral suctioning, endotracheal tube cuff pressure, artificial humidification, the difference in practice between registered nurses and respiratory therapists, using the beach chair position and early mobilization, and the VAP bundle. The prevention of VAP becomes the focus for both nurses and respiratory therapists working with patients who are ventilated.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Vickie Larrow, MSN RN CNL CNRN, at She is a Registered Nurse, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Santa Rosa, CA.

Eira I. Klich-Heartt, DNP CNS CNL, Faculty, Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa, CA.

This literature review is not submitted under any company, nor is anyone receiving any profit or compensation from this review.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2016 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses