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Ventilator Associated Pneumonia

Frequently Asked Questions
Information for Patients and Families
Patient safety remains the most important priority Cornwall Community Hospital and this involves ensuring that patients are not at risk for contracting healthcare-associated infections.

We have a number of practices in place to help prevent and control infections, including a comprehensive hand hygiene program. As of April 30, 2009, all Ontario hospitals are required to post quarterly VAP rates to further promote accountability and transparency within the health system.

If you have any questions about the information below or about our hospital's infection prevention and control program, please contact Nancy Ann Bush at 613-938-4240 ext:3344.

What are health care-associated infections? 
Sometimes when patients are admitted to the hospital, they can get infections. These are called health care-associated infections.

What is a Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP)? 
For our public reporting purposes, ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) is defined as a pneumonia (lung infection) occurring in patients in an intensive care unit (ICU), requiring, external mechanical breathing support (a ventilator) intermittently or continuously, through a breathing tube for more than 48 hours.

VAP can develop in patients for many reasons. Because they are relying on an external machine to breath, their normal coughing, yawning, and deep breath reflexes are suppressed. Furthermore, they may have a depressed immune system, making them more vulnerable to infection. ICU teams have many ways to try to assist patients with these normal breathing reflexes, but despite this, patients are still at risk for developing pneumonia.

What is Cornwall Community Hospital doing to improve patient safety
The Prevention of Ventilator Associated Pneumonia Team has implemented evidence based care protocols to manage ventilated patients.

What can patients do to help reduce their chances of infection? 
Frequent hand cleaning is a good way to prevent the spread of infection. Hand hygiene involves everyone in the hospital, including patients.

More patient-specific information is available at




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