Implementation of evidence-based guidelines to prevent and manage ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in the clinical setting may not be adequate. We aimed to assess the implementation of selected VAP prevention strategies, and to learn how VAP is managed by the intensivists practicing in the Indian Subcontinent. Three hundred 10-point questionnaires were distributed during an International Critical Care Conferenceheld at New Delhi in 2009. A total of 126 (42%) questionnaires distributed among delegates from India, Nepal and Sri Lanka were analyzed. Majority (96.8%) reported using VAP bundles with a high proportion including head elevation (98.4%), chlorhexidine mouthcare (83.3%), stress ulcer prophylaxis (96.8%), heat and moisture exchangers (HME, 92.9%), early weaning (94.4%), and hand washing (97.6%) as part of their VAP bundle. Use of subglottic secretion drainage (SSD, 45.2%) and closed suction systems (CSS, 74.6%) was also reported by many intensivists, whereas use of selective gut decontamination was reported by only 22.2%. Commonest method for sampling was endotracheal suction by 68.3%. Gram negative organisms were reported to be the most commonly isolated. Majority (39.7%) reported using proton pump inhibitors for stress ulcer prophylaxis and 84.1% believed that VAP contributed to increased mortality. De-escalating therapy was considered in patients responding to treatment by 57.9% and 65.9% considered adding empirical methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)coverage, while 63.5% considered adding nebulized antibiotics in certain high-risk patients. There was good concordance regarding VAP prophylaxis among the intensivists with a majority adhering to evidence-based guidelines. We could identify certain issues like the choice of agent for stress ulcer prophylaxis, use of HME filters, SSD and CSS, where there still exists some practice variability and opportunities for improvement
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