Measures to prevent nosocomial infections during mechanical ventilation.
Curr Opin Crit Care. 2011 Dec 18;
Authors: Ramirez P, Bassi GL, Torres A
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation are lifesaving measures in critically ill patients. However, these interventions increase the risk of respiratory infections, particularly ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). VAP constitutes a serious burden for the healthcare system and worsens the patient's outcomes; thus, several preventive strategies have been implemented. This communication reviews the current knowledge on VAP pathogenesis and the latest preventive measures. RECENT FINDINGS: Pathogen-laden oropharyngeal secretions leak across the endotracheal tube (ETT) cuff; thus, a continuous control of the internal cuff pressure and cuffs made of polyurethane improve sealing effectiveness and associated risks of infections. Subglottic secretions aspiration prevents VAP, and the latest evidence demonstrated a reduction in the incidence of late-onset VAP. The role of ETT biofilm in the pathogenesis of VAP is not fully elucidated. Nevertheless, antimicrobial-coated ETTs have showed beneficial effects in VAP incidence. Recent experimental evidence has challenged the benefits associated with the use of the semirecumbent position; yet, these findings need to be corroborated in clinical trials. The latest results from trials testing the effects of selective digestive decontamination (SDD) showed beneficial effects on patients' outcomes, but concerns remain regarding the emergence of bacterial resistance, specifically upon digestive tract re-colonization. The use of oropharyngeal decontamination with antiseptics and the use of probiotics are potential alternatives to SDD. SUMMARY: There is consistent evidence that strategies affecting the primary mechanisms of VAP pathogenesis efficiently reduce the occurrence of the disease. Preventive measures should be implemented grouped into bundles to improve overall efficacy.
PMID: 22186217 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]