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Bickenbach J., Marx G.
Department of Intensive Care, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Germany
Ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) is one of the most common nosocomial infections in critically ill patients, especially in those being mechanically ventilated. Beside increased healthcare costs due to prolonged hospital stay, VAP is associated with a consistently high morbidity and mortality. Although pathomechanisms leading to VAP are well known, it remains challenging to diagnose VAP accurately and in a timely manner. It has been suggested that the Clinical Pulmonary Infection Score (CPIS) may help to resolve these difficulties however, its use is questionable. Several evidence based strategies have been described for the diagnosis of ventilator associated pneumonia, potentially leading to better or faster treatment and thereby influencing the outcome. Current diagnostic approaches and the value of the CPIS are therefore considered within this article. A bundle approach, regarding time management and several diagnostic pathways should be evaluated in further studies.