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Preventing Ventilator Associated Pneumonia in Children Essay

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Preventing Ventilator Associated Pneumonia in Children
Hospitalization for any family is a hard situation to deal with, when it is a child in the hospital the situation because even tougher to handle. Because of the delicate situation of family members in the hospital it is imperative that the patient does not obtain any hospital acccuired conditions. One of the most common hospital acquired infections (HAI) is ventilator-assocaited pneumonia (VAP). Although it is commonly seen in the hospital setting it can have devastating effects, especially on children. Prevention of VAP is the goal for critical care nurses in all hospitals.
Although many people have heard of or had pneumonia many people are not aware of what ventilator associated
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Younger children are more likely to acuire VAP than adults because of their decrease function of the immune system.
Dental plaque is a main culprit of causing VAP in young patients. The mouth harbors many bacterias including gram positive and gram negative bacterias. To prevent ventilator associated pneumonia from dental plaque guidelines have been set up to decrease the risks. For all infants and children every two hours the oral cavity should be moistened and the lips should be coated with petroleum jelly. For children with teeth it is recommended that the teeth be brushed every twelve hours with fluoride toothpaste, oral cavity suctioning should be done frequently but do not rinse the mouth. Daily oral care with 0.6% chlorhexidine for children over 6 who have teeth is also indicated.
There are numerous other techniques used to prevent VAP. Like many respiratory problems the head of the bed should always be elevated to between 30 and 45 degrees to prevent aspiration of fluids and sputum. The tubing for the ventilator should only be changed on a as needed basis. The continuous changing of tubes moves the bacteria and can introduce new bacteria into the respiratory system. Patients should also receive “sedation vacations” and prophylaxis medications to prevent peptic ulcers. Weaning of the mechanical ventilator should also be done as soon as possible
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