Implementing the comprehensive unit-based safety program model to improve the management of mechanically ventilated patients in Saudi Arabia

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Background: Ventilator-associated events are common in mechanically ventilated patients. They are associated with more days on mechanical ventilation, longer intensive care unit (ICU) stay, and increased risk of mortality. Theoretically, interventions that prevent ventilator-associated events should also reduce associated morbidity. We evaluated the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program approach to improve the care of mechanically ventilated patients. Methods: All mechanically ventilated patients admitted to the ICU between October 1, 2015, and October 31, 2016, were prospectively monitored for the development of ventilator-associated events according to the National Healthcare Safety Network criteria. A process care bundle (endotracheal intubation with subglottic suctioning, head-of-bed elevation ≥30° target sedation scores, daily spontaneous awakening trials, spontaneous breathing trials), daily delirium assessment, and an early mobility protocol were instituted. The bundle compliance, ventilator-associated events rates, ICU length of stay, and mortality rate were noted. The database allowed viewing of current rates, trends, and averages of all participating sites. Results: In the study period, 2,321 patients were admitted to the ICU, and 1,231 required mechanical ventilation (10,342 ventilator days). There were 115 ventilator-associated events: 82 ventilator-associated conditions, 15 infection-related ventilator-associated conditions, and 18 possible cases of ventilator-associated pneumonia. The ICU mortality rate was 13.3%, compared with 28.7% for those mechanically ventilated patients with ventilator-associated events (P =.0001). There was increased compliance for spontaneous awakening trials (51.5%-76.9%, P =.0008) and spontaneous breathing trials (54.2%-72.2%, P =.02) and a decrease in infection-related ventilator-associated conditions (4.2-3.5 per 1,000 days), possible cases of ventilator-associated pneumonia (2.1-1.7 per 1,000 days), ICU mortality (45.3%-19.1%, P =.045), and ventilator-associated events associated mortality rates (33.3%-8.3%, P <.37). Physical therapy participation and mobility were 60.8% and 26.4%, respectively. Conclusion: The implementation of a multipronged program like the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program could improve the care processes and outcomes of mechanically ventilated patients.




Khan, R. M., Al-Juaid, M., Al-Mutairi, H., Bibin, G., Alchin, J., Matroud, A., … Arabi, Y. M. (2019). Implementing the comprehensive unit-based safety program model to improve the management of mechanically ventilated patients in Saudi Arabia. American Journal of Infection Control, 47(1), 51–58.

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