VAP: Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

Why We Want to Prevent Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

Patients who use a breathing tube or ventilator are vulnerable to pneumonia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is the leading cause of mortality in hospital intensive care units. The risk increases each additional day that a patient spends on the ventilator. VAP is one of the most expensive hospital-acquired infections, costing anywhere from $12,000 to $40,000 to treat one hospital case.

Success Within New Jersey Hospitals

Compared to baseline, New Jersey's hospitals have reduced VAP by 12 percent, avoided 73 potential VAP infections and saved $1,530,709 in unnecessary healthcare costs.

New Jersey’s hospitals have implemented processes and protocols to constantly assess patients and their need to remain on ventilators. Many New Jersey hospitals have gone months at a time without a single case of VAP.

This was accomplished in part through hospital participation in collaborative efforts:

AHRQ’s Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program for Mechanically Ventilated Patients