The Efficacy of Subglottic Secretion Suctioning

Pneumonia is a common ventilator-associated event (VAE), yet consensus on its definition (it had been traditionally referred to as ventilator-associated pneumonia [VAP]) is lacking. Despite this, many strategies have been shown to decrease its incidence. Damas et al conducted a single-center, randomized controlled trial in Belgium assessing the effect of subglottic secretion suctioning on VAP incidence.

They found that subglottic secretion suctioning resulted in a significant reduction of VAP prevalence. Though we now have consistent evidence showing the benefit of subglottic suctioning, cost analyses touting its worth and guidelines recommending its use, why has the critical care community not adopted this practice more widely?

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