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Multidisciplinary initiative reduces airway infection in pediatric intensive care patients
Date:6/17/2013

An initiative that combines a multidisciplinary health care approach with a range of preventive measures could cut the rate of a common airway infection among children in intensive care by more than half, a new study suggests. The research, led by a team at Nationwide Children's Hospital, appears in the June issue of the journal Pediatric Critical Care Medicine.

Ventilator-associated tracheobronchitisVAT for shortis a lower respiratory infection caused by a buildup of bacteria in the airway. Ordinarily, these small organisms are easily cleared, but being on a ventilator with an artificial airway in place disrupts the body's natural defenses. This, along with other factors, increases the risk of VAT, says Jennifer Muszysnki, lead study author and a critical care physician and principal investigator in the Center for Clinical and Translational Research in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's.

Historically, VAT infections have not been tracked as closely as another common airway infection known as VAPventilator-associated pneumoniawhich has been monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for more than a decade and is a common target for quality improvement initiatives in hospitals across the country.

A program instituted in 2007 at Nationwide Children's to prevent VAP in ventilated pediatric intensive care patients led to a dramatic decline in VAP rates. However, physicians found that many children still required treatment for ventilator-associated airway infections that did meet the CDC criteria for VAP. So, in 2010, Muszysnki and her colleagues decided to adapt the VAP prevention program to study its effectiveness on reducing VAT.

The new plan included a bundle of patient care components. Ventilated patients' beds were raised to a 30-degree angle at the head, which helps reduce bacteria in the airway. Patients were given an anti-bacterial oral rinse every four hours, and respira
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Contact: Gina Bericchia
Gina.Bericchia@NationwideChildrens.org
614-355-0495
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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