Number needed to treat for subglottic secretion drainage technology as a ventilator-associated pneumonia prevention strategy

Crit Care. 2012 Sep 4;16(5):446. doi: 10.1186/cc11464.


The number needed to treat can be calculated for ventilator-associated pneumonia reduction strategies such as subglottic secretion drainage technology based on previous work establishing its relative risk reduction. Assuming an incidence of 4%, employing subglottic secretion drainage in 33 patients will prevent one case of ventilator-associated pneumonia, and thus potentially 4 cases annually in an average hospital in the United States. With a previously described limit of £300 ($470 USD) additional cost per 10 days of ventilation as a threshold of investment for technologies to reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia, subglottic secretion drainage technology is both clinically and cost effective.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Technology / economics*
  • Humans
  • Numbers Needed To Treat*
  • Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated / economics*
  • Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated / prevention & control*