POTSDAM Canton-Potsdam Hospital has gone a year without any cases of ventilator-associated pneumonia in its intensive care unit, the result of procedural changes meant to reduce the risk of hospital infections.
The disease is among the most common hospital-acquired infections, affecting anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of all patients who undergo mechanical ventilation.
A ventilator helps patients breathe through a tube in the nose or mouth or a surgical opening in the neck. Preventing germs from entering the tube is a challenge for hospitals.
CPH kept the duration of ventilation to a minimum and instituted a rigorous hygiene procedure to reduce its cases.