Problem: Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP) is a costly yet frequent occurrence in hospital ICUs. Literature states that ventilated patients have an 30-40% chance of contracting VAP. Each incidence is estimated to generate $30,000-$50,000 in incremental expense for the hospital, with a morbidity / mortality rate of 30-40%. Additionally, VAP typically extends patient LOS by ~4.3 days, leading to significant backlog in the ICU.
In order to reduce the risk of VAP, ventilated patients must be elevated at between 30-45 degrees at all times. This prevents the aspiration of pathogens into the respiratory tract and has been associated with significant reductions in VAP incidence in controlled studies. Despite this guideline, compliance remains low – the ICU bed built-in inclinometers are often unreliable and patients slide down the hospital beds.