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Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in a Multi-Hospital System Differences in Microbiology by Location

  • Hilary M. Babcock (a1), Jeanne E. Zack (a2), Teresa Garrison (a2), Ellen Trovillion (a2), Marin H. Kollef (a3) and Victoria J. Fraser (a1)...

To determine whether there were differences in the microbiologic etiologies of ventilator-associated pneumonia in different clinical settings.


Observational retrospective cohort study of microbiologic etiologies of ventilator-associated pneumonia from 1998 to 2001 in a multi-hospital system. Microbiologic results were compared between hospitals and between different intensive care units (ICUs) within hospitals.


Three hospitals—one pediatric teaching hospital, one adult teaching hospital, and one community hospital— in one healthcare system in the midwestern United States.


Patients at the target hospitals who developed ventilator-associated pneumonia and for whom microbiologic data were available.


Seven hundred fifty-three episodes of ventilator-associated pneumonia had culture data available for review. The most common organisms at all hospitals were Staphylococcus aureus (28.4%) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (25.2%). The pediatric hospital had higher proportions of Escherichia coli (9.5% vs 2.3%; P < .001) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (13% vs 3.1%; P < .001) than did the adult hospitals. In the pediatric hospital, the pediatric ICU had higher P. aeruginosa rates than did the neonatal ICU (33.3% vs 17%; P = .01). In the adult hospitals, the surgical ICU had higher Acinetobacter baumannii rates (10.2% vs. 1.7%; P < .001) than did the other ICUs.


Microbiologic etiologies of ventilator-associated pneumonia vary between and within hospitals. Knowledge of these differences can improve selection of initial antimicrobial regimens, which may decrease mortality.

Corresponding author
Campus Box 8051, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110
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Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
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