Lower airway infection

J. Almirall, A. Liapikou, M. Ferrer, A. Torres

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review


© 2012 Springer-Verlag Italia. All rights reserved. Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is the most important infectious complication in intensive care units (ICU), and despite advances in knowledge regarding the physiopathology, diagnosis, and prevention of this disease, the mortality rate continues to be unacceptably high, mainly when the cause is Pseudomonas aeruginosa and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). VAP also increases days of mechanical ventilation and length of ICU and hospital stay, which is dependent on host factors, causative organisms, timing and adequacy of treatment, and presence of intrinsic or inducible antibiotic resistance. Despite available diagnostic procedures, diagnosing VAP continues to be a clinical one. The presence of X-ray infiltrates and purulent endotracheal secretions are the essential conditions for the diagnosis. Our ability to reduce the occurrence of VAP in the hospital setting has been significantly improved, and it needs a combination of several actions that include hygienic measures aimed at reducing cross-infection between patients, preventing aspiration of contaminated oropharyngeal secretions, avoiding prolonged mechanical ventilation, and modulating oropharyngeal flora.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInfection Control in the Intensive Care Unit
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012


  • Bundles Bundles
  • Prevention Prevention
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia Ventilator-associated pneumonia


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