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Editorials |

Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia : Science and Hocus-Pocus

Paul E. Marik, MD, FCCP; Joseph Varon, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Pittsburgh, PA 
 ,  Houston, TX 
 ,  Dr. Marik is affiliated with the Trauma Life Support Center, Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh. Dr. Varon is Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Section, Baylor College of Medicine and Research Director, Department of Emergency Services, The Methodist Hospital.

Correspondence to: Joseph Varon, MD, FCCP, 2219 Dorrington, Houston, TX 77030; e-mail: jvaron@bcm.tmc.edu



Chest. 2001;120(3):702-704. doi:10.1378/chest.120.3.702
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Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is the most important infectious complication occurring in critically ill patients, increasing ICU length of stay and mortality.13 In the last 2 decades, intensive scientific enquiry has improved our understanding of the pathogenesis and treatment of VAP. Yet, despite this information, myths and misconceptions (“hocus-pocus”) continue to dominate the management of patients with suspected VAP. The article“ International Conference for the Development of a Consensus on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia,” which appears in this issue of CHEST (see page 955), goes a long way toward dispelling many of the myths associated with the management of VAP. Dr. Jordi Rello, the conference chairperson, used an interesting and rather unique format to explore this controversial topic. He presented 12 international authorities with a set of highly pertinent questions regarding the diagnosis and management of VAP. For each question, he provided the scientific background and then the responses of the expert panel, followed by a consensus statement. Although agreement was not reached on all questions, the responses of the expert panel provide insight into the range of acceptable approaches to this complex problem.

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