Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine recently investigated the relationship between patients with TBI who are on mechanical ventilators (MV) and the patients' susceptibility to pneumonia.
The study focused on over 24,000 patients 18 years of age and older who received head abbreviated injury scale (AIS) scores coded 1-6; these patients received MV. Researchers controlled for a number of physiological and injury variables in determining the risk of the study patients developing all-cause pneumonia.
Of the patients in the study with TBI and receiving MV, 6.5% developed pneumonia; patients were 7% likelier to develop pneumonia each additional day they remained on the ventilator. This result suggests caretakers for TBI patients consider strategies that expedite the patient's extubation from the ventilator.
Hui X, Haider A H, et al. Increased risk of pneumonia among ventilated patients with traumatic brain injury: Every day counts! The Journal of Surgical Research. (June 2013).