OBJECTIVE: To investigate factors related to ventilator-associated pneumonia to assist in the development and implementation of prevention strategies. METHODS: A retrospective, descriptive design was used. Power analysis determined sample size. A consecutive sample of 120 patients admitted to the critical care units of a level I trauma center who were receiving mechanical ventilation was used. Data were obtained from clinical and financial databases. Variables included demographic data, causative organism of the pneumonia, medications, comorbid conditions, complications, duration of therapies, length of stay, and cost per case. RESULTS: The average patient was a 49-year-old man. The sample was 54.9% trauma patients, and the prevalence of ventilator-associated pneumonia was 16.7%. Significant factors included duration of intubation (r = 0.28, P = .005), mechanical ventilation (r = 0.26, P = .005), and tube feeding (r = 0.30, P = .001); trauma (phi = 0.24, P = .009); and use of histamine2 receptor antagonists (phi = -0.25, P = .006). The only variable that significantly increased the odds ratio for ventilator-associated pneumonia was trauma. The only variable that significantly decreased the odds ratio was use of histamine2 receptor antagonists. Patients in whom ventilator-associated pneumonia developed had a 16-day increase in length of stay (t = -2.68, P = .008), and a $29,369 increase in cost per case (t = -3.649, P = .000). CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide a baseline for discussions about potential changes in practice to help prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia.

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