Limiting ventilator-associated complications in ICU intubated subjects: strategies to prevent ventilator-associated events and improve outcomes

Yolanda Peña-López, Sergio Ramirez-Estrada, Vandana Kalwaje Eshwara, Jordi Rello

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Introduction: Intubation is required to maintain the airways in comatose patients and enhance oxygenation in hypoxemic or ventilation in hypercapnic subjects. Recently, the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) created new surveillance definitions designed to identify complications associated with poor outcomes. Areas covered: The new framework proposed by CDC, Ventilator-Associated Events (VAE), has a range of definitions encompassing Ventilator-Associated Conditions (VAC), Infection-related Ventilator-Associated Complications (IVAC), or Possible Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia–suggesting replacing the traditional definitions of Ventilator-Associated Tracheobronchitis (VAT) and Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP). They focused more on oxygenation variations than on Chest-X rays or inflammatory biomarkers. This article will review the spectrum of infectious (VAP & VAT) complications, as well as the main non-infectious complications, namely pulmonary edema, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and atelectasis. Strategies to limit these complications and improve outcomes will be presented. Expert commentary: Improving outcomes should be the objective of implementing bundles of prevention, based on risk factors amenable of intervention. Promotion of measures that reduce the exposition or duration of intubation should be a priority.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1037-1050
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Review of Respiratory Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 02-12-2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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