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Am J Ther. 2014 Nov-Dec;21(6):470-6. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0b013e31825e7a8f.

Does selective digestive decontamination prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia in trauma patients?

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  • 11ICU Department, Faculté de Medicine de Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia 2Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculté de Pharmacie, Monastir, Tunisia.


The incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is particularly high in patients with trauma. The efficacy and safety of selective digestive decontamination (SDD) was not studied extensively. We aimed in our randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate whether SDD prevents VAP onset in multiple trauma patients. All adult patients admitted in our intensive care unit for multiple trauma with a predicted duration of mechanical ventilation (MV) over 48 hours were included. We included 44 patients who were divided into 4 groups: group A receiving subglottic and gastric treatment suspension (polymyxin E 100 mg, vancomycin 1 g, and amphotericin B 500 mg), group B receiving placebo, group C receiving subglottic placebo and gastric treatment suspension, and group D receiving subglottic treatment suspension and gastric placebo. The suspension was given 4 times a day during 7 consecutive days. To this topical treatment, we associated an intravenous administration of cefotaxime (1 g 3 times a day during 4 consecutive days). The incidence of VAP in the 4 groups was, respectively, 45.5%, 46.2%, 22.2%, and 27.3% (P = 0.236). In multivariate analysis, none of the 3 tested regimens was identified as a protective factor against VAP. However, prolonged duration of MV was the only independent factor predicting VAP onset (odds ratio = 1.1; 95% confidence interval [1.1-1.4]; P = 0.049).

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