Back

Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

(VAP)

Definition

Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is an infection of the lungs that affects people who are on mechanical ventilation. Mechanical ventilation is done with a machine that helps you breathe. Pneumonia affects the small airways and air sacs in the lungs.
Alveoli
IMAGE
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

VAP is commonly caused by specific bacteria. The tube that goes into the lungs makes it easier for bacteria to enter deep into the lungs.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of VAP include:

Symptoms

VAP may cause:

Diagnosis

Your doctor will review your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will also be done. Tests may include:

Treatment

Treatment depends on which germs are causing the pneumonia. Your doctor will discuss the best treatment plan with you. Treatment options include:

Prevention

To reduce your chance of VAP, the healthcare team will:

RESOURCES

American Lung Association http://www.lung.org

American Thoracic Society http://patients.thoracic.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

The Lung Association http://www.lung.ca

References

American Thoracic Society. Guidelines for the management of adults with hospital-acquired, ventilator-associated, and healthcare-associated pneumonia. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2005;171(4):388-416.

Ventilator-associated pneumonia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/vap/vap.html. Updated May 17, 2012. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Koenig SM, Truwit JD. Ventilator-associated pneumonia: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Clin Microbio Rev. 2006;19(4):637-657.

Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. FAQs about ventilator-associated pneumonia. Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America website. Available at: http://www.shea-online.org/Assets/files/patient%20guides/NNL%5FVAP.pdf. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Ventilator-associated pneumonia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 2, 2013. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Revision Information