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Chest. 2001 Aug;120(2):555-61.

The occurrence of ventilator-associated pneumonia in a community hospital: risk factors and clinical outcomes.

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Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Saint Louis, MO 63110, USA.



To prospectively identify the occurrence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in a community hospital, and to determine the risk factors for VAP and the influence of VAP on patient outcomes in a nonteaching institution.


Prospective cohort study.


A medical ICU and a surgical ICU in a 500-bed private community nonteaching hospital: Missouri Baptist Hospital.


Between March 1998 and December 1999, all patients receiving mechanical ventilation who were admitted to the ICU setting were prospectively evaluated.


Prospective patient surveillance and data collection.


During a 22-month period, 3,171 patients were admitted to the medical and surgical ICUs. Eight hundred eighty patients (27.8%) received mechanical ventilation. VAP developed in 132 patients (15.0%) receiving mechanical ventilation. Three hundred one patients (34.2%) who received mechanical ventilation died during hospitalization. Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that tracheostomy (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 6.71; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.91 to 11.50; p < 0.001), multiple central venous line insertions (AOR, 4.20; 95% CI, 2.72 to 6.48; p < 0.001), reintubation (AOR, 2.88; 95% CI, 1.78 to 4.66; p < 0.001), and the use of antacids (AOR, 2.81; 95% CI, 1.19 to 6.64; p = 0.019) were independently associated with the development of VAP. The hospital mortality of patients with VAP was significantly greater than the mortality of patients without VAP (45.5% vs 32.2%, respectively; p = 0.004). The occurrence of bacteremia, compromised immune system, higher APACHE (acute physiology and chronic health evaluation) II scores, and older age were identified as independent predictors of hospital mortality.


These data suggest that VAP is a common nosocomial infection in the community hospital setting. The risk factors for the development of VAP and risk factors for hospital mortality in a community hospital are similar to those identified from university-affiliated hospitals. These risk factors can potentially be employed to develop local strategies for the prevention of VAP.


ICU clinicians should be aware of the risk factors associated with the development of VAP and the impact of VAP on clinical outcomes. More importantly, they should cooperate in the development of local multidisciplinary strategies aimed at the prevention of VAP and other nosocomial infections.

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