OBJECTIVE: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) has been poorly studied in South Africa, but is likely to be a significant problem, with resulting increased morbidity and mortality in the paediatric intensive care unit population. This guideline is intended to review the evidence and recommendations for prevention and management of VAP in children and to provide, where possible, clear advice to aid the care of these children, to limit costly and unnecessary therapies and - importantly - limit inappropriate use of antimicrobial agents.
EVIDENCE: The Working Group was constituted. Literature on the aetiology, prevention and management of paediatric VAP is reviewed.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines are provided for VAP diagnosis and prevention in South Africa. In addition, the current status of antimicrobial use has been reviewed and clear recommendations are set out.