While the CDC has reported that ventilator-assisted pneumonia (VAP) rates fell by as much as 71% between 2006 and 2012, a new study published in JAMA earlier this month found that VAP rates actually held steady over the same time period. The CDC used data from National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) while the study authors looked at the Medicare Patient Safety Monitoring System (MPSMS).

“The most likely explanation for the discrepancy is thought to be bias in reporting to CDC by the hospitals,” Dr Metersky told Medscape Medical News.

He noted that whereas he and his coauthors discuss other possible reasons in the letter, including differences in definitions, hospitals, or patient groups, “they are very unlikely to explain such a huge discrepancy.”

He continued: “VAP remains a common problem, and more specifically, our results suggest we have made no progress over the last decade in decreasing its frequency. This is important, given its cost in terms of deaths, morbidity, cost and resource use…. Because VAP is not going away, we need more research into how to prevent and treat it.”

Read more at www.medscape.com