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Common Causes of Ventilator Associated Conditions

Grace Lee, MD, MPH, associate medical director, Infection Control, Boston Children’s Hospital, discusses the different causes of ventilator-associated conditions in adult populations and neonatal intensive care units.

Grace Lee, MD, MPH, associate medical director, Infection Control, Boston Children’s Hospital, discusses the different causes of ventilator-associated conditions in adult populations and neonatal intensive care units.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“Ventilator-associated conditions are events that are indicated by worsened oxygination for patients who are on a ventilator. The surveillance definition was put into place by [the] [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC)] National Healthcare Safety Network in January 2013 for the adult population. There is currently a proposed definition on the table for neonates and children, that will be adapted from the adult VAC definition in the near future.

The most common causes of VAC in the adult population include pneumonia, pulmonary edema, atelectasis and [acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)]. We’re doing some preliminary work in neonates and children, and finding that while there are some common causes, such as pneumonia, pulmonary edema and atelectasis, there [are] also some different causes, particularly in the neonatal [intensive care unit (ICU)], where respiratory distress syndrome and bronchopulmonary dysplasia, as well as sepsis or shock are more common causes of VAC."