Purpose of review: To highlight the clinical importance of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in an era of escalating antimicrobial resistance.
Recent findings: VAP continues to be an important infection in the critically ill. The development of rapid microbiologic diagnostics and new antimicrobial agents offer opportunities for improved treatment strategies for VAP balancing the need to treat effectively in a timely manner and antimicrobial stewardship. Additionally, the new surveillance definitions for assessing the quality of care in critically ill patients (ventilator-associated events, ventilator-associated conditions, and infection-related ventilator-associated conditions) do not appear to be adequate surrogates for the identification of VAP.
Summary: Clinicians caring for critically ill patients should be aware of the importance of correctly treating VAP. As new diagnostic technologies and antimicrobials become available for VAP, their incorporation into routine patient management should occur in a way that optimizes patient outcomes wherein minimizing further emergence of antimicrobial resistance.