Objective: To examine the impact of adherence to a ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) bundle on the incidence of VAP in our surgical intensive care units (SICUs).
Design: Prospectively collected data were retrospectively examined from our Infection Control Committee surveillance database of SICU patients over a 38-month period. Cost of VAP was estimated at $30,000 per patient stay.
Setting: Two SICUs at a tertiary care academic level I trauma center.
Patients: Ventilated patients admitted to a SICU.
Intervention: The Institute for Healthcare Improvement VAP bundle was instituted at the beginning of the study and included head-of-bed elevation, extubation assessment, sedation break, peptic ulcer prophylaxis, and deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis. A daily checklist was considered compliant if all 5 items were performed for each patient.
Main outcome measures: Patients were assessed for VAP. Staff were assessed for compliance with the VAP bundle.
Results: Prior to initiation of the bundle, VAP was seen at a rate of 10.2 cases/1000 ventilator days. Compliance with the VAP bundle increased over the study period from 53% and 63% to 91% and 81% in each respective SICU. The rate of VAP decreased to 3.4 cases/1000 ventilator days. A cost savings of $1.08 million was estimated.
Conclusions: Initiation of the VAP bundle is associated with a significantly reduced incidence of VAP in patients in the SICU and with cost savings. Initiation of a VAP bundle protocol is an effective method for VAP reduction when compliance is maintained.