Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Honored for Reducing Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

April 27, 2010

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC has received a RACE for Results performance improvement award from Child Health Corporation of America (CHCA) for an initiative the hospital developed to reduce the incidence of pneumonia in patients on ventilators.

Children's Hospital's Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP) Initiative implemented a "bundle" of evidence-based best practices to reduce the number of VAP cases at the hospital. VAP is the second most common nosocomial infection in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) patients and prolongs the time patients spend on a ventilator, resulting in an increased length of stay in the ICU. Children's Hospital's VAP bundle has resulted in fewer treatments required for patients with better outcomes; reduced time a child spends on the ventilator and a reduced number of days patients spend in the PICU.

"In 2007, we piloted this bundle in the PICU and in the first month after implementation, we had no ventilator-associated pneumonia," said Amy Biddle, R.N., M.S.N., unit director of the PICU at Children's, who led the project with Shekhar Venkataraman, M.B.B.S., medical director of respiratory therapy at Children's. "It was so successful that we instituted it in our neonatal and cardiac intensive care units as well."

Children's cases of VAP declined from 22 in 2007 to three in 2009, and the hospital had no VAP cases for seven months in 2007-2008.

The VAP bundle implemented by Children's Hospital included hand washing, elevating the patient's bed, swabbing the patient's mouth, assessing readiness to remove the ventilator and a new documentation process and protocols checklist, as well as involving family members in the patient's plan-of-care.

The RACE for Results award recognizes exceptional initiatives that improve patient care in children's hospitals. Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC was selected as a second-place winner from 35 entries from the nation's leading children's hospitals. The prestigious RACE for Results awards are selected by a panel of hospital peers and international health care experts. CHCA will honor Children's Hospital on May 5 in San Francisco.

"This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Children's team, which included nurses, respiratory therapists and a physician," said Diane Hupp, R.N., M.S.N., vice president and chief nursing officer, Children's Hospital. "The most important aspect of this award is that it recognizes proven practices that can serve as a model for improving care at children's hospitals nationwide."

About Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

Renowned for its outstanding clinical services, research programs and medical education, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC has helped establish the standards of excellence in pediatric care. From Ambulatory Care to Transplantation and Cardiac Care, talented and committed pediatric experts care for infants, children and adolescents who make more than 500,000 visits to Children's and its many neighborhood locations each year.

Children's also has been named consistently to several elite lists of pediatric health care facilities, including ranking 10th among children's hospitals (FY 2008) in funding provided by the National Institutes of Health, and is named one of the best pediatric hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report For more information, visit

About Child Health Corporation of America

CHCA is dedicated to improving the performance of children's hospitals, networking 43 leading pediatric institutions, connecting 20,000 pediatric specialists and linking almost 100,000 children's hospital employees to a range of programs and services. Learn more at