When you have a loved one currently living in a nursing home, your top priority is knowing that they are safe, happy and healthy.
If your loved one was recently diagnosed with ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), you probably have some questions about the condition and how it occurred. Here are some common questions and answers about VAP.
What is ventilator-associated pneumonia?
A ventilator is a machine that delivers oxygen to your loved one’s lungs through a tube. Intubation sites can include the nose, mouth or trachea. VAP is a condition that can result from germs entering the lungs through a ventilation tube. When this happens, a severe lung infection can develop. This infection is often highly resistant to antibiotic treatment, is uncomfortable and is potentially life-threatening if interventions do not take place quickly enough.
Can VAP be a sign of nursing home neglect?
The answer is both yes and no. There are many cases where patients develop VAP unrelated to their level of care. However, if evidence strongly suggests that neglect played a role in the development of your loved one’s condition, you may have a case for nursing home neglect. Examples of ventilator negligence include an overall unsanitary environment in the facility or improper weaning off of the ventilator, as both could lead to VAP.
Understanding ventilator-associated pneumonia can help you make informed decisions regarding your loved one’s care. As always, you should remain vigilant about their health and well-being while they are under the care of nursing home staff.