What is a ventilator?
A ventilator is a life-saving machine that helps people breathe when they cannot breathe well on their own. Often, patients are connected to a ventilator in surgery or when recovering from serious illness. A ventilator is connected to a tube — called an endotracheal or "ET" tube — placed in the patient's lungs. The tube is inserted through the mouth, nose or throat.
At UCSF Medical Center, patients connected to a ventilator are always in an intensive care unit or in surgery. A ventilator may be used for several weeks.
How does UCSF Medical Center monitor ventilator-associated events and pneumonia?
UCSF measures VAE rates according to the methods of the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
UCSF reports "probable or possible VAE" rates expressed as the number of events per 1,000 ventilator days, or the total number of days patients use a ventilator. For example, if a patient is on a mechanical ventilator for five days, that would count as five ventilator days.
What is the rate of VAEs at UCSF Medical Center?
Lower is better when comparing VAE rates. Individual units compare against NHSN data. In fiscal year 2020, our rate was 1.29 VAE/1,000 ventilator days.
Our goal is to have zero ventilator-associated events in our hospital.