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01.12.2016 | Commentary | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

Critical Care 1/2016

Pre-emptive antibiotic therapy to reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia: “thinking outside the box”

Critical Care > Ausgabe 1/2016
Donald E. Craven, Jana Hudcova, Yuxiu Lei, Kathleen A. Craven, Ahsan Waqas
Wichtige Hinweise
This comment refers to the article available at: http://​dx.​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13054-016-1342-1.


Mechanically ventilated, intubated patients are at increased risk for tracheal colonization with bacterial pathogens that may progress to heavy bacterial colonization, ventilator-associated tracheobronchitis (VAT), and/or ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). Previous studies report that 10 to 30 % of patients with VAT progress to VAP, resulting in increased morbidity and significant acute and chronic healthcare costs. Several natural history studies, randomized, controlled trials, and a meta-analysis have reported antibiotic treatment for VAT can reduce VAP, ventilator days, length of intensive care unit (ICU) stay, and patient morbidity and mortality. We discuss early diagnostic criteria, etiologic agents, and benefits of initiating, early, appropriate intravenous or aerosolized antibiotic(s) to treat VAT and reduce VAP, to improve patient outcomes by reducing lung damage, length of ICU stay, and healthcare costs.
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