5 Issues Pharmacists Will have to Know About Ventilator Related Pneumonia (VAP)

On this article a pharmacist with complicated coaching and revel in in infectious illnesses discusses 5 issues pharmacists will have to learn about ventilator related pneumonia (VAP)

Authored By means of: Lucia Rose, PharmD, BCIDP

Article Posted 1 December 2022

It was once the autumn of 2009; I used to be a proud PGY-1 resident at UMass Clinical Middle rounding with a big group within the ICU. The presenting fellow systematically reviewed each and every affected person and firstly of each and every case, mentioned “head of the mattress is increased at 30 levels.” This was once language I had by no means heard in pharmacy college. I puzzled what was once the importance of this observation and why was once he spending simply as a lot time at the antibiotic routine (i.e., my time to polish) as he was once on head place and oral hygiene? After all, I briefly discovered that this was once all in position to stop the scary, ventilator related pneumonia (aka VAP).

Let’s get started via merely defining this illness: VAP is pneumonia that happens in sufferers which were on mechanical air flow for greater than 48 hours. It’s related to greater morbidity, mortality, duration of keep (LOS), and healthcare value. Roughly 5-15% of sufferers requiring mechanical air flow will broaden VAP right through their hospitalization. Scientific, microbiologic, and radiologic proof will have to be used to make the analysis, on the other hand, subjectivity can result in attainable for misdiagnosis and next pointless antibiotic remedy. ICU collaboration with infectious illnesses and/or an antibiotic stewardship program (ASP) can lend a hand in control as sufferers with VAP are susceptible to receiving large spectrum antibiotics for extended intervals. 

Preferably, breathing tract sampling will have to be acquired previous to antibiotic initiation, on the other hand, if a prolong is predicted, suggested empiric antimicrobial remedy concentrated on Gram-positive and Gram-negative micro organism is really helpful.  The precise manner of acquiring a breathing tradition is arguable as some mavens prefer invasive as opposed to noninvasive sampling. Whilst invasive sampling equivalent to bronchoscopy is extra delicate and explicit for figuring out a real pathogen, some sufferers are not able to go through this process. Moreover, even though quantitative cultures are extra correct, they’re extra expensive and time eating in comparison to semiquantitative or qualitative cultures. 

Whilst prevention methods for VAP are really helpful, they’re going to no longer be the focal point of this newsletter as those interventions aren’t normally controlled via pharmacists.  For more info on prevention, please evaluation the great means that has been proposed and indexed within the IDSA/SHEA tips. 

Listed here are issues pharmacists will have to learn about ventilator related pneumonia, as explored thru 5 vital questions…

 Query #1: What’s the distinction between tracheobronchitis and VAP?

Whilst distinguishing those two syndromes in scientific apply is usually a main problem, a key level is that sufferers with tracheobronchitis DO NOT have radiologic indicators of pneumonia.

Identity of latest or revolutionary infiltrates or air bronchograms are crucial for the analysis of VAP since fever and breathing misery are fairly commonplace in intubated sufferers.  Sufferers with tracheobronchitis might nonetheless have advantageous sputum cultures, fever, and breathing misery; all of which incessantly cause antibiotic initiation in an ICU atmosphere.  Even supposing tracheobronchitis can build up LOS and time at the ventilator, greater mortality has no longer been proven.

Most significantly, antibiotics are normally no longer really helpful in sufferers identified with tracheobronchitis.

Query #2: Which micro organism will have to be centered when beginning empiric remedy?

Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacterales are probably the most often recovered micro organism in sufferers with VAP. Consistent with IDSA/ATS tips, the need to duvet MRSA is determined by if the affected person has a chance issue for multidrug resistant pathogens, if MRSA charges within the ICU are >10-20% of S. aureus, or if MRSA charges are unknown. In accordance with huge surveillance information, maximum areas in the US have MRSA charges above 30%, due to this fact, maximum clinic tips on this nation most likely come with an anti-MRSA agent as a part of empiric remedy for VAP. 

 Query #3: What empiric antibiotic regimens are suitable for VAP?

The ATS/IDSA tips suggest linezolid or vancomycin PLUS an antipseudomonal beta-lactam. For sufferers with critical IgE mediated beta-lactam allergic reactions, aztreonam will also be thought to be, on the other hand charges of resistance amongst Gram unfavourable rods (GNR) are upper than beta-lactams and warning will have to be taken if the use of this agent.

Even supposing double antipseudomonal protection is really helpful within the tips, it’s in accordance with a low stage of proof and the will for that is arguable. A 2nd agent is also wanted provided that resistance is >10% to the main GN agent. Health center antibiograms and antimicrobial stewardship techniques will have to dictate the will for this tradition. If a 2nd Gram-negative agent is selected, aminoglycosides retain higher susceptibilities towards maximum GNR and feature much less collateral harm in comparison to fluoroquinolones.

To notice, use of an ICU explicit antibiogram will have to be applied when opting for an empiric remedy routine for VAP, when information are to be had and dependable.

Query #4: Can MRSA nasal swabs be reliably used to de-escalate anti-MRSA remedy?

Even supposing proof suggests secure de-escalation of anti-MRSA remedy in accordance with unfavourable MRSA nasal screening, information explicit for VAP is missing. Then again, if a affected person has a unfavourable MRSA nasal display and MRSA is NOT recovered from breathing samples, anti-MRSA remedy can most likely be discontinued.

Moreover, MRSA recovered in sufferers with identified VAP might constitute higher airway colonization and no longer precise decrease lung causative pathogens. Because of this, some clinic VAP empiric therapies might exclude anti-MRSA remedy in particular if institutional information is supportive of this.

Query #5: How lengthy will have to VAP be handled?

Normally, a 7-day route is really helpful, on the other hand in choose sufferers who get better briefly, a 5-day route is also enough.

The REGARD-VAP trial is ongoing and can expectantly cope with whether or not a shorter period (3-5 days) is non-inferior to eight days or longer.

Readers is also fascinated about this useful resource for figuring out affordable intervals of remedy for antimicrobial remedy.

Helpful references 

Kalil AC, Metersky ML, Klompas M, et al. Control of Adults with Health center-acquired and Ventilator-associated Pneumonia: 2016 Scientific Apply Pointers via the Infectious Illnesses Society of The usa and the American Thoracic Society. Clin Infect Dis 2016; 63 (5):e61–e111. 

Klompas, M., Branson, R., Eichenwald, E. C., et al. Methods to Save you Ventilator-Related Pneumonia in Acute Care Hospitals: 2014 Replace. Infect Contr Hosp Epidemiol 2014; 35(8): 915–36.

Pranita D. Tamma, Samuel L. Aitken, Robert A. Bonomo, et al. IDSA Steerage at the Remedy of Antimicrobial-Resistant Gram-Adverse Infections: Model 2.0. Revealed via IDSA 3/31/2022.


Dr. Lucia Rose finished a Submit-Graduate Yr 1 Pharmacy Apply Residency at UMass Clinical Middle and a Submit-Graduate Yr 2 Infectious Illnesses Pharmacy Residency at The Brooklyn Health center Middle.

She practiced for 10 years as an infectious illnesses pharmacist within the educational scientific atmosphere. In Might of 2021, she transitioned to business and joined Paratek prescribed drugs as a scientific science director for the Mid-Atlantic area.



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