Dental plaque may provide a pathway to pneumonia in ventilated patients
For hospital patients on ventilators, one big worry is ventilator-associated pneumonia. The most common infection acquired by critical-care hospital patients, VAP develops in 9 to 24 percent of patients who are on a ventilator for more than 48 hours. VAP results in longer average hospital stays, higher hospital costs and even fatalities. Various factors lead to VAP in hospital patients, including airway secretions that collect microbes that then slip past the cuff of the endotracheal tube, as well as microorganisms that grow inside the endotracheal tube itself.
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