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- Small bronchi (airways)
- Alveoli (air sacs) in the lungs
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- Staphylococcus aureus
- Streptococcus pneumonia
- Chronic lung disease
- Conditions that affect the nervous system
- Weak immune system
- Prolonged antibiotic use
- Intubated (having a tube placed) more than once
- Tube placed through a stoma (hole in the throat) rather than down through the nose or mouth
- Prolonged ventilation
- Continuous sedation
- Prolonged period of lying on back
- Older age
- Thick mucus, greenish mucus, or pus-like sputum
- Bluish color of nails or lips
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Antibiotics—Antibiotics will be given by IV. Results from the lab tests will guide your doctor’s choice of antibiotic.
- Oxygen therapy—You may need additional oxygen to increase the level of oxygen in your body.
- Physical therapy—Physical therapy can help to loosen and remove thick mucus from the lungs.
- Elevate the head of your bed 30°-45°
- Wash their hands before and after touching you or the ventilator
- Clean the inside of your mouth on a regular basis
- Keep you on the ventilator only if it is necessary
- Avoid overly sedating you
- Regularly suction your airway
American Lung Association http://www.lungusa.org/
American Thoracic Society http://www.thoracic.org/
The Canadian Lung Association http://www.lung.ca/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html/
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.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ventilator-associated pneumonia: resources for patients and healthcare providers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/dpac%5Fventilate.html . Updated March 16, 2010. Accessed November 11, 2010.
DynaMed Editorial Team. Nosocomial pneumonia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated October 5, 2010. Accessed November 11, 2010.
Koenig SM, Truwit JD. Ventilator-associated pneumonia: diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Clin Microbio Rev . 2006;19(4):637-657.
Schub E, Schub T. Pneumonia, ventilator-associated. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=16&topicID=860 . Updated February 26, 2010. Accessed May 20, 2010.
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 June 22, 2010.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013
- Update Date: 06/20/2013