Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia Overdiagnosed, Overmedicated

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More than half of patients diagnosed with ventilator-associated pneumonia actually did not have VAP, according to a study published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

A multidisciplinary committee assessed the diagnosis of patients suspected to have VAP on an adult ICU floor over the course of a year.

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The committee found 58.4 percent of patients diagnosed and being treated for VAP were misdiagnosed. Additionally, 76 percent of misdiagnosed patients continued an antibiotic regime, totaling 1,183 extra days of antibiotic administration over the course of the study.

In addition, researchers noted there were no significant clinical differences between non-VAP patients who continued antibiotics and non-VAP patients who discontinued antibiotics, suggesting physician preference, rather than evidence-based guidelines, may contribute to the unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics for VAP.

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