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Probiotic prophylaxis to prevent ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) in children on mechanical ventilation: an open-label randomized controlled trial

Balasubramaniam Banupriya| Niranjan Biswal| Rangan Srinivasaraghavan| Parameswaran Narayanan| Jharna Mandal
Original
Volume 41, Issue 4 / April , 2015

Pages 677 - 685

Abstract

Purpose

Ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) is one of the most common nosocomial infections in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). It is associated with increased mortality and prolonged hospital stay. Several preventive strategies have been introduced to reduce VAP. One novel intervention is prophylactic administration of probiotics. Studies on the effect of probiotics on VAP in pediatric populations are lacking.

Methods

This was an open-label randomized controlled trial. A total of 150 children no older than 12 years admitted to the PICU were recruited from November 2011 to July 2013. Children who were likely to require ventilation for more than 48 h were eligible for inclusion in the study. Patients were randomized into two groups after stratification based on age groups. Children in the intervention group received probiotic preparation twice a day beginning from the day of ICU admission till 7 days or discharge from ICU, whichever was earlier. The control group did not receive any placebo. Children were examined daily for evidence of VAP and were followed up till discharge from hospital. Incidence of VAP, duration of hospital stay, and mortality were compared.

Results

Children who received prophylactic probiotics had a lower incidence of VAP compared to the control group (17.1 % in the probiotics group vs 48.6 % in the control group, p < 0.001; 22 per 1,000 ventilated days vs 39 per 1,000 ventilated days, p = 0.02). On multiple logistic regression analysis, use of prophylactic probiotics decreased the incidence of VAP by 77 % and reduced the duration of ICU and hospital stays by an average of 2.1 and 3.3 days, respectively, after adjusting for the other confounders. No complications due to administration of probiotics were observed in the study.

Conclusion

Prophylactic probiotics administration resulted in reduction of the incidence of VAP in critically ill children in a setting where baseline VAP rates are high. The intervention was found to be safe.

Keywords

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