Hamilton Health Sciences
Achieving excellence in care, research & education

Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP)


What is ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)? 

VAP is defined as pneumonia (a serious lung infection) that can occur in patients (specifically intensive care unit patients) who need assistance breathing with a mechanical ventilator (machine to assist breathing) for at least 48 hours.

 What are the Risk Factors for VAP? 

 Risk factors include:

  • Being on a ventilator for more than five days
  • Recent hospitalization (last 90 days)
  • Residence in a nursing home
  • Prior antibiotic use (last 90 days)
  • Dialysis treatment in a clinic

What is a case of VAP? 

A VAP case is defined as:

  • Including only intensive care unit patients 18 years and older who are on ventilators (occasionally or continuously)
  • Pneumonia appears at least 48 hours after the patient was placed on a ventilator.

What determines the rate? 

 The VAP rate is determined by the total number of newly diagnosed VAP cases in the ICU after at least 48 hours of mechanical ventilation, divided by the number of ventilator days in that month, multiplied by 1,000. Ventilator days are the number of days spent on a ventilator for all patients in the ICU 18 years and older. 


What are we doing to reduce Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia and improve patient safety at Hamilton Health Sciences?

  • Applying recommended best practices to help prevent and control infection.

    Improving staff and visitors Hand Hygiene practices. (Just Clean Your Hands Campaign) 



 VAP Fact Sheet

VAP Fact Sheet for Patients and Visitors




Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

Disclaimer: Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) offers Google Translate to better facilitate access for our community. However, HHS makes no claims regarding the accuracy of translations. Any and all health information should be verified by a health care professional.