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Clinical Trial
, 30 (2), 225-233

Airway Colonisation in Long-Term Mechanically Ventilated Patients. Effect of Semi-Recumbent Position and Continuous Subglottic Suctioning

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Clinical Trial

Airway Colonisation in Long-Term Mechanically Ventilated Patients. Effect of Semi-Recumbent Position and Continuous Subglottic Suctioning

Emmanuelle Girou et al. Intensive Care Med.

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the impact of continuous subglottic suctioning and semi-recumbent body position on bacterial colonisation of the lower respiratory tract.

Design: A randomised controlled trial.

Setting: The ten-bed medical ICU of a French university hospital.

Patients: Critically ill patients expected to require mechanical ventilation for more than 5 days.

Interventions: Patients were randomly assigned to receive either continuous suctioning of subglottic secretions and semi-recumbent body position or to receive standard care and supine position.

Measurements and results: Oropharyngeal and tracheal secretions were sampled daily and quantitatively cultured. All included patients were followed up from day 1 (intubation) to day 10, extubation or death. Ninety-seven samples of oropharynx and trachea were analysed (40 for the suctioning group and 57 for the control group). The median bacterial counts in trachea were 6.6 Log10 CFU/ml (interquartile range, IQR, 4.4-8.3) in patients who received continuous suctioning and 5.1 Log10 CFU/ml (IQR 3.6-5.5) in control patients. Most of the patients were colonised in the trachea after 1 day of mechanical ventilation (75% in the suctioning group, 80% in the control group). No significant difference was found in the daily bacterial counts in the oropharynx and in the trachea between the two groups of patients.

Conclusion: Tracheal colonisation in long-term mechanically ventilated ICU patients was not modified by the use of continuous subglottic suctioning and semi-recumbent body position.

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