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Critical Care Surveillance


Patients in critical care are more likely to develop infections because they are very ill and usually require the use of medical devices, such as breathing apparatus / tubes (ventilator) and lines.  The Welsh Critical Care surveillance programme was set up in 2007 to estimate the risk of infection for patients with central lines inserted.  Central lines are important on critical care as they are used, for example, to administer fluids, nutrition, and medication to the patient.  The critical care program was expanded in 2008 to determine the risk of patients having an infection due to being on a ventilator.  Since 2013, only infections associated with ventilated patients are collected and this is known as Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) surveillance.

Data are collected on all patients who are mechanically ventilated on adult critical care units across Wales.  Data collected included the number of ventilated patients on each until monthly and the number who develop and infection (VAP).  As part of the programme, we conduct analysis of the data and report on infection rates associated with ventilation of critical care patients throughout Wales.  The HARP team collaborates with the health boards in Wales to reduce the risk of patients developing an infection.