Factors Predictive of Ventilator-associated Pneumonia in Critically Ill Trauma Patients

World J Surg. 2020 Apr;44(4):1121-1125. doi: 10.1007/s00268-019-05286-3.


Background: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a serious complication of mechanical ventilation. We sought to investigate factors associated with the development of VAP in critically ill trauma patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of trauma patients admitted to our trauma intensive care unit between 2016 and 2018. Patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia were identified from the trauma database. Data collected from the trauma database included demographics (age, gender and race), mechanism of injury (blunt, penetrating), injury severity (injury severity score "ISS"), the presence of VAP, transfused blood products and presenting vital signs.

Results: A total of 1403 patients were admitted to the trauma intensive care unit (TICU) during the study period; of these, 45 had ventilator-associated pneumonia. Patients with VAP were older (p = 0.030), and they had a higher incidence of massive transfusion (p = 0.015) and received more packed cells in the first 24 h of admission (p = 0.028). They had a higher incidence of face injury (p = 0.001), injury to sternum (p = 0.011) and injury to spine (p = 0.024). Patients with VAP also had a higher incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) (p < 0.001) and had a longer ICU (p < 0.001) and hospital length of stay (p < 0.001). Multiple logistic regression models controlling for age and injury severity (ISS) showed massive transfusion (p = 0.017), AKI (p < 0.001), injury to face (p < 0.001), injury to sternum (p = 0.007), injury to spine (p = 0.047) and ICU length of stay (p < 0.001) to be independent predictors of VAP.

Conclusions: Among critically ill trauma patients, acute kidney injury, injury to the spine, face or sternum, massive transfusion and intensive care unit length of stay were associated with VAP.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Critical Illness*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated / etiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Wounds and Injuries / surgery*