Ventilator-Associated Events: Prevalence, Outcome, and Relationship With Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

Crit Care Med. 2015 Sep;43(9):1798-806. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000001091.


Objectives: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention built up new surveillance paradigms for the patients on mechanical ventilation and the ventilator-associated events, comprising ventilator-associated conditions and infection-related ventilator-associated complications. We assess 1) the current epidemiology of ventilator-associated event, 2) the relationship between ventilator-associated event and ventilator-associated pneumonia, and 3) the impact of ventilator-associated event on antimicrobials consumption and mechanical ventilation duration.

Design: Inception cohort study from the longitudinal prospective French multicenter OUTCOMEREA database (1996-2012).

Patients: Patients on mechanical ventilation for greater than or equal to 5 consecutive days were classified as to the presence of a ventilator-associated event episode, using slightly modified Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definitions.

Intervention: None.

Measurements and main results: Among the 3,028 patients, 2,331 patients (77%) had at least one ventilator-associated condition, and 869 patients (29%) had one infection-related ventilator-associated complication episode. Multiple causes, or the lack of identified cause, were frequent. The leading causes associated with ventilator-associated condition and infection-related ventilator-associated complication were nosocomial infections (27.3% and 43.8%), including ventilator-associated pneumonia (14.5% and 27.6%). Sensitivity and specificity of diagnosing ventilator-associated pneumonia were 0.92 and 0.28 for ventilator-associated condition and 0.67 and 0.75 for infection-related ventilator-associated complication, respectively. A good correlation was observed between ventilator-associated condition and infection-related ventilator-associated complication episodes, and ventilator-associated pneumonia occurrence: R = 0.69 and 0.82 (p < 0.0001). The median number of days alive without antibiotics and mechanical ventilation at day 28 was significantly higher in patients without any ventilator-associated event (p < 0.05). Ventilator-associated condition and infection-related ventilator-associated complication rates were closely correlated with antibiotic use within each ICU: R = 0.987 and 0.99, respectively (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Ventilator-associated event is very common in a population at risk and more importantly highly related to antimicrobial consumption and may serve as surrogate quality indicator for improvement programs.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Dysfunction Scores
  • Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiration, Artificial / adverse effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sex Factors
  • United States


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents