• Diagnosing Ventilator‐Associated Pneumonia in Burn Patients: Endotracheal Aspirates Versus Bronchoalveolar Lavage

      Lish, James; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Foster, Kevin N. (The University of Arizona., 2016-03-25)
      Introduction: Ventilator‐associated pneumonia (VAP) is associated with increased mortality, ventilator days, intensive care unit days and length of stay, especially in the thermal burn patient. In addition to poorer patient outcomes it is estimated that VAP increases the cost of care, making the prevention of VAP a high priority within healthcare. While no “gold standard” diagnosis for VAP exists, criteria typically include clinical suspicion, radiography and microbiological testing. The purpose of this study was to correlate results of endotracheal tube swabs (ETT), endotracheal aspirates (TA) and broncheoalveolar lavage (BAL) in burn patients with suspected VAP. The goal of this study is to determine if TA sampling is a viable alternative to BAL in the diagnosis of VAP in burn patients. Methods: This was a non‐interventional prospective study of 42 adult burn patients with suspected VAP. Respiratory specimens via ETT, TA, and BAL were collected and cultured. Basic demographics, clinical signs and symptoms and culture results were collected and descriptive statistics were performed. Results: Concurrent cultures were performed on the 42 patients with suspected VAP. Correlations were done between TA, BAL and ETT. TA and BAL correlated 87% of the time while TA and ETT correlated 49% of the time. The correlation between ETT and BAL was 40%. Calculated sensitivities, specificities, positive predictive values (PPV) and negative predictive values (NPV) for TA and BAL were roughly equal, while the values for ETT were much lower. Conclusions: TA is nearly as reliable as BAL in identifying the causative organisms in VAP, and should be considered as an economical and easily obtained initial diagnostic test in burn patients suspected to have VAP.