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Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Releases June Advisory
Date:6/30/2009

Two Facilities in Pennsylvania Make Substantial Progress in Reducing Infections for Patients in Intensive Care

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two hospitals in southeast Pennsylvania have successfully reduced or eliminated healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) for intensive care patients in their facilities and are featured in the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority's 2009 June Patient Safety Advisory.

Patients in intensive care are at high risk for HAIs due to their serious illness and weakened immune systems. Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is healthcare-associated pneumonia in a patient who must use a machine or other device for more than 48 hours in order to breathe.

Roxborough Memorial Hospital and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, both in Philadelphia, have implemented proven risk reduction strategies (known as bundles) to prevent VAP in their patients. As a result of team effort, Roxborough reduced VAP in its facility from 12 events in 2004 to two in 2006. From November 2006 through June 2008 there were zero cases of VAP at Roxborough. In July 2008, one case was reported. A patient was on a break from being sedated and subsequently took out his breathing tube which caused him to suck food or liquid into his lungs. This action caused an infection in the lungs known as aspiration pneumonia.

"In 2005, Roxborough began collecting specific data related to devices and implemented protocols recommended by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement during its [100,000 lives] campaign to reduce medical errors," Mike Doering, executive director of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority said. "Due to their efforts, Roxborough staff nearly eliminated ventilator-associated pneumonia in their facility. Their success shows what facilities can achieve if staff works together in making zero their target number for infections."

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SOURCE Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority
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