Big Ideas Theater, Episode 10: Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

 Published: March 21, 2018

By: Heather Willden


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In this episode of Big Ideas Theater, Rick Kallet, MS, RRT, FAARC, defines ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) and discusses the tiered process of diagnosing ventilator associated events (VAE). Kallet explains what RTs can expect to see in the future related to VAE, as well as offers tips in preventing VAE.

According to Kallet, VAP is hard to diagnose and was originally thought to be completely preventable. He proceeds to describe the umbrella that is VAE—or hospital acquired conditions—and how it’s used to narrow down possible diagnoses. This is done through a three-tiered process, which Kallet expects to be used at some point in the future as a tool for hospital benchmarking.

Kallet also discusses new diagnostic techniques for VAP, which include looking at exhaled volatile organic compounds (or VOCs). Kallet expects this practice to be common at the bedside in the future, as well.

Shifting to the preventing side of the conversation, when asked about the steps needed to take to prevent VAP, Kallet explains: “When we really drilled down to this, and you look at all the preventative therapies, they reduce the incidences of VAP by about 50 percent.”

Instead, Kallet feels that the most effective preventative  therapy is getting patients off the ventilator, which can be accomplished by improving weaning practices.

Big Ideas Theater 2017 was filmed at the AARC Congress 2017 in Indianapolis, IN. Congress speakers and lecturers shared their expertise and insights during these brief interviews.

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Heather Willden

Heather Willden is the Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives for the AARC where she works with state affiliates as the HOD liaison. She also manages DEI efforts and strategic initiatives. Connect with her about these topics by email, AARConnect or LinkedIn. When she's not working, you can find her podcasting with her husband, exploring new hiking trails, photographing, and spending time with her family.

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