How and Why to Prevent Respiratory Tract Infections in ICU

  • B. DeHaven
  • O. C. Kirton
Conference paper


Considerable ICU resources are consumed in the treatment of various respiratory infections. Not only economic costs, but expenditure of staff energies, physical resources, treatment expenses and allocation of ICU care, may be more productively expended in the preventative area. Mechanically ventilated patients, perhaps due to their association with artificial airways, have been accompanied by an assortment of microorganism in the respiratory tract leading to colonization, at times infection, and are frequently diagnosed with Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP). Reported rates of VAP between 25–75% [1–4] of intubated patients are an independent variable for determining mortality, although debate remains regarding whether VAP is a “score” or marker of the severity of illness, or an outright cause of death [5, 6]. Clinical conditions, such as Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome, with a mortality rate of about 25% without VAP, displays a mortality approximately 67% [2, 7, 8] when associated with VAP. The increased costs of extended ICU care and antibiotic treatment regimes, even for survivors, are rarely reimbursed fully, and have the potential to significantly reduce throughput of the ICU, limiting its availability to those who may benefit from it.


Respir Crit Nosocomial Pneumonia Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome Heated Humidifier Suction Catheter 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia, Milano 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. DeHaven
  • O. C. Kirton

There are no affiliations available

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