The second most important infectious complication in hospitalized patients is pneumonia, this occupying the first place in the Intensive Care Units (ICU). Approximately 80% of the episodes of nosocomial pneumonia occur in patients with an artificial airway, which is called ventilation-associated pneumonia (VAP). VAP is the most frequent cause of mortality among nosocomial infections in the ICU, mainly if they are caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It also increases days of mechanical ventilation and length of stay in the ICU and hospital. In spite of the available diagnostic procedures, the diagnosis of VAP continues to be a clinical one. The presence of X-ray infiltrates and purulent endotracheal secretions are the essential conditions for the diagnosis. We should also evaluate the patient's condition and the risk factors for difficult-to-treat pathogens. If the VAP is early and there are no risk factors, most of the empiric antibiotic strategies will provide correct coverage of the flora found. However, if the diagnosis of VAP is made in a patient who has been receiving mechanical ventilation for more than one week, under antibiotic use, with risk factors for multirresistant pathogens, we should individualize the empiric antibiotic treatment. © 2010 Elsevier España, S.L. y SEMICYUC.
- Ventilator-associated pneumonia