Long-term respiratory support and risk of pneumonia in critically ill patients

M. Langer, P. Mosconi, M. Cigada, M. Mandelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 724 critically ill patients who had received prolonged (>24 h) ventilatory assistance since admission to the ward, we analyzed the relationship between artificial ventilatory support and pulmonary infection. Two different approaches were used. The first, plotting the incidence of pneumonia versus the duration of ventilatory support, confirms previous data: the incidence rises from 5% in patients receiving one day of respiratory assistance to 68.8% in patients receiving more than 30 days. In the second approach, the same data were computed as an actuarial life table with the day of pneumonia onset as terminal event. This different approach, focusing on the onset of infection rather than on incidence, allows a new insight into the problem of nosocomial infection: pneumonia in patients with respiratory support is an early occurrence with a high and constant rate of acquisition and, therefore, a high risk of infection in the first eight to ten days. Later pneumonia acquisition were rare, and the risk after ten days of ventilatory support is low.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-305
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Review of Respiratory Disease
Issue number2 I
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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