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J Intensive Care Med. 2014 May-Jun;29(3):165-74. doi: 10.1177/0885066612467152. Epub 2012 Nov 15.

Procedural and educational interventions to reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia rate and central line-associated blood stream infection rate.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, U.



Implementing best practice guidelines for ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and central line-associated blood stream infection (CLA-BSI) has variable success. Our institution was concerned with high rates of VAP and CLA-BSI. This retrospective study was undertaken to see whether implementation of the below practices would reduce the rates of VAP and CLA-BSI without resorting to more expensive interventions such as subglottic endotracheal (ET) tube suctioning or silver-impregnated ET tubes. We utilized easily collectable data (standardized infection ratios [SIRs]) to rapidly assess whether interventions already in place were successful. This avoided cumbersome data collection and review.


Retrospective data review calculated SIRs using National Healthcare Safety Network benchmarks. Rates and SIRs were compared using z tests with P values <.05 considered statistically significant. This data review attempted to examine the impact of education campaigns, staff meetings, in-services, physician checklist, nurse checklist, charge nurse checklist implementation, and chlorhexidine gluconate oral care addition to the VAP bundle. Additionally, central line insertion required nursing supervision, a checklist, and physician signature.


The incidence rate of VAP went from 9.88 occurrences/1000 vent days in 2009 to 0 occurrences/1000 vent days in 2010 (P < .001). The CLA-BSI occurrences/1000 line days were 2.86 in 2009 and 0.97 in 2010 (P = .0187). The SIR for VAP was 4.12 in 2009 and 0 in 2010 (P < .001). For CLA-BSI, the SIR was 1.1 in 2009 and 0.37 in 2010 (P = .04).


Efforts to improve physician, patient, and staff education, and checklist implementation resulted in a decrease in VAP and CLA-BSI. This study confirms the applicability of best practice guidelines and suggests a benefit to the use of checklists. We utilize a practical approach for examining the success of these changes.


blood stream infection (BSI); central line-associated blood stream infection (CLA-BSI); educational intervention; hospital-acquired infections; procedural intervention; standardized infection ratio (SIR); ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)

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