Ventilator-associated pneumonia prevention

Healthcare associated infections are a major cause of poor outcomes for patients. Ventilator associated-pneumonia (VAP), a subset of hospital acquired pneumonia, results in increased patient morbidity and mortality, prolonged length of stay and increased healthcare costs. VAP can occur in up to 25% of all people who require mechanical ventilation.

VAP can be caused by the migration of microorganisms from colonised endotracheal and/or tracheostomy tubes, direct inoculation via bronchoscopy or other respiratory procedures or by aspiration. Affected patients may have prior underlying lung disease or immune suppression.

Minimising the risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia

Intubation and tracheostomy tube insertion should only be undertaken by persons trained and competent in the technique.

It is a SA Health requirement that SA Health healthcare facilities are compliant with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS). This includes the safe insertion and management of invasive medical devices.

For further information refer to:

Further information

For further information on the management of indwelling devices, contact SA Health's Infection Control Service on (08) 7425 7161.