Objective: ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) is defined as nosocomial pneumonia in mechanically ventilated patients. It is considered to be most important cause of infection-related death in intensive care unit. We studied the characteristics and risk factors of VAP in critically-ill neonates.
Methods: Fifty six consecutive neonates with different diagnosis admitted from January to October 2010 to neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Zagazig University Hospitals who needed mechanical ventilation were included in the study. There were 32 neonates, 18 males and 14 females with proven diagnosis of VAP, and 24 neonates, 11 males and 13 females without VAP served as control group. All studied neonates were subjected to history taking, clinical examination, routine investigations (Complete blood count, C-reactive protein, arterial blood gases, blood culture and liver and kidney function tests), and chest X-ray daily as well as non-bronchoscopic alveolar lavage culture for VAP group only.
Findings: Of 56 neonates who needed mechanical ventilation, 57.1% developed VAP. Prematurity, low birth weight and prolonged duration of mechanical ventilation were risk factors for developing VAP. Increased total leucocytic count, CRP and hypoalbuminemia were significantly presented in VAP-group. There were significant differences between VAP and non-VAP groups regarding hypothermia, mucopurulent endotracheal tube secretion, PaCO(2) and PaO(2). Microorganisms associated with blood stream infection in VAP diagnosed group were Klebsiella (15.6%), S. aureus (12.5%), Pseudomonas (9.4%), E. coli (6.2%), Candida (3.1%); 53.1% of obtained blood cultures were sterile. Of non-bronchoscopic alveolar lavage cultures obtained from VAP patients, 68.6% showed gram negative infection, 21.8% showed gram positive organisms and 9.3% revealed Candida infection.
Conclusion: The most important risk factors of VAP are prematurity, low birth weight, prolonged duration of mechanical ventilation, enteral nutrition and umbilical catheterization.
Keywords: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; Neonate; Prematurity; Ventilator Associated Pneumonia; low birth weight.