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Probiotics Reduce Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia Among Critical Care Patients

June 17, 2010: 02:06 PM EST
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), which is increasingly caused by pathogens associated with antimicrobial resistance, is a complication experienced by 30 percent of critically ill patients receiving mechanical ventilation. VAP patients have increased morbidity, mortality and hospital costs, longer intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital stays. A new U.S. study, however, has found that patients who ingested probiotics daily were able to reduce VAP by almost half. They tested 138 critically ill patients who received either a placebo or the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus twice daily. The probiotics decreased VAP infections by half and reduced the amount of antibiotics needed. The researchers cautioned that their findings are preliminary and should not be generalized to all ICU patients.
Lee E. Morrow, MD, MSc, Marin H. Kollef, MD, Thomas B. Casale, MD, " Probiotic Prophylaxis Of Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia: A Blinded, Randomized, Controlled Trial", American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, June 17, 2010, © American Thoracic Society
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