A University of Michigan study finds a reduction in the rates of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) with the use of a polyurethane cuffed endotracheal tube. The findings appear in the Journal of Critical Care.

The study specifically looked at the use of Microcuff, a polyurethane cuff endotracheal tube produced by Kimberly-Clark Corp, Roswell, Ga. The Microcuff was used to replace conventional endotracheal tubes in all adult mechanically ventilated patients throughout a large academic hospital from July 2007 to June 2008. The researcher retrospectively compared the rates of VAP before, during, and after the intervention year by interrupted time-series analysis.

The researchers found that VAP rates decreased from 5.3 per 1,000 ventilator days before the use of the polyurethane-cuffed endotracheal tube to 2.8 per 1,000 ventilator days during the intervention year (p=0.0138). During the first 3 months after return to conventional tubes, the rate of VAP was 3.5/1,000 ventilator days. Use of the polyurethane-cuffed endotracheal tube was associated with an incidence risk ratio of VAP of 0.572 (95% confidence interval, 0.340-0.963). In statistical regression analysis controlling for other possible alterations in the hospital environment, as measured by rate of tracheostomy-VAP, the incidence risk of VAP in patients intubated with polyurethane-cuffed endotracheal tube was 0.565 (p=0.032; 95% confidence interval, 0.335-0.953).

Source: Kimberly-Clark Corp