Ventilator associated pneumonia symptoms and causes

Patients who require invasive mechanical ventilation are at risk for ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), which results from the invasion of the lower respiratory tract and lung parenchyma by micro-organisms and is defined as pneumonia occurring ⩾48 h after intubation and the start of mechanical ventilation.

Typical symptoms include:

  • Pulmonary infection: Signs include fever, purulent secretions, and leukocytosis.
  • Bacteriologic evidence of pulmonary infection.
  • Radiologic suggestion of pulmonary infection.

Intubation compromises the integrity of the oropharynx and trachea and allows oral and gastric secretions to enter the lower airways causing ventilator associates pneumonia.

Patients who require invasive mechanical ventilation are at risk for ventilator-associated pneumonia.

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Implement VAP-Prevention Solutions

VAP (ventilator-associated pneumonia) is associated with prolonged duration of mechanical ventilation (MV), typically by means of an endotracheal tube (ETT) or tracheostomy, longer length of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital, and increased healthcare costs. Hospitals and clinicians are under pressure from legislators and regulatory agencies to implement VAP-prevention solutions. Currently, legislators are considering requiring hospitals to publicly report VAP rates, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is considering adding VAP to the list of hospital-acquired conditions that are non-reimbursable.


Hospital-Acquired Infections

Ventilator-associated pneumonia accounts for 11 percent of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). In 2002, the estimated number of HAIs in U.S. hospitals was approximately 1.7 million and cost between $28 and $33 billion. The estimated deaths from HAIs in U.S. hospitals were 98,987; 35,967 of these infections were pneumonia.([FOOTNOTE=Klevens RM, Edwards JR, Richards CL, Jr., et al. Estimating health care-associated infections and deaths in U.S. hospitals, 2002. Public Health Rep. 2007;122(2):160-166.],[ANCHOR=View Abstract],[LINK=/content/covidien/websites/medtronic/com/en/covidien/support/clinical-evidence.html?id=805227]),([FOOTNOTE=Scott RD. The direct medical costs of healthcare-associated infections in U.S. hospitals and the benefits of prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. March 2009. Available at: . Accessed October 21, 2013.],[ANCHOR=View Abstract],[LINK=/content/covidien/websites/medtronic/com/en/covidien/support/clinical-evidence.html?id=805210])

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