, Volume 26, Issue 7, pp 878-882

Nosocomial pneumonia in mechanically ventilated patients, a prospective randomised evaluation of the Stericath closed suctioning system

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Objective: To compare the ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) incidence rates in mechanically ventilated patients according to the type of endotracheal suctioning (closed versus open). Setting: The Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit of the Grenoble University Hospital, France. Design: A prospective randomised study performed after a 6-month period of nursing personnel training. Patients: One hundred four consecutive patients needing mechanical ventilation for more than 48 h were randomised into two groups. To be eligible, patients had to have no active infection or respiratory affection in their passes. In the Stericath group (S + , n = 54), patients were not disconnected from the ventilator during suctioning. The others were routinely managed (S–, n = 50). In both groups patterns of frequency and duration of suctioning were performed according to a standardised protocol.¶Measurements: The non-adjusted incidence rate of VAP was lower for S + than for S– (7.32 versus15.89 per 1000 patient-days, p = 0.07). Multivariate analysis performed using the Cox model showed an adjusted risk of VAP 3.5 times higher in S– (95 %Cl: 11.00–12.33). The risk being 4.3 higher in patients receiving gastric acid secretion inhibitors (1.08–16.82). In non-censored cases (n = 76) length of ICU stay increased by an average of 16.8 days when VAP was present (p = 0.0008). No adverse effect due to Stericath use was noted and volume of tracheal aspirate was similar between groups (p = 0.178). Conclusion: The use of Stericath reduced the incidence rate of VAP without demonstrating any adverse effect.

Received: 23 August 1999/Final revision received: 17 April 2000 Accepted: 26 April 2000