Q&A: Strategies to Prevent Ventilator Associated Events

Part of AACN Critical Care Webinar Series

Presenter(s): John Gallagher, DNP, RN, CCNS, CCRN-K, TCRN, CHSE, RRT, FCCM

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Webinar Summary

Mechanical ventilation is a lifesaving technology that increases patients’ vulnerability to infection, injury and other complications. Nursing care affects the use and the duration of mechanical ventilation. In addition, nursing interventions to address infection risk and promote mobility during mechanical ventilation profoundly affect outcomes in patients with respiratory failure. In this webinar, John Gallagher will explain the use of the terms ventilator associated events (VAE) and ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP). He will then review strategies to prevent intubation and nursing interventions to reduce the risk of complications and promote early liberation from the ventilator. The remainder of the webinar will be a question and answer session. You can email your questions in advance to practice@aacn.org with the subject line “VAE Question and Answer webinar” or ask them during the live presentation.


  • Define ventilator associated event (VAE) and ventilator associated pneumonia.
  • Identify strategies to prevent VAE by avoiding or limiting the use of mechanical ventilation.
  • List three nursing interventions for the care of mechanically ventilated patients that help prevent VAE.




John Gallagher is a Professor, Acute and Tertiary Care and Director of Simulation Education in the School of Nursing at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a Clinical Nurse Specialist. He has practiced in a variety of clinical settings including: Trauma Resuscitation and Surgical ICU, Emergency Department and Pulmonary Step-down units, as both a staff nurse and clinical nurse specialist. Additionally, John is a Registered Respiratory Therapist and has practiced as a paramedic. He is currently serving a three-year term as a Board of Director for the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. He is a member of the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel, the Society of Critical Care Medicine Nursing Section, and Airway, Mechanical Ventilation Task Force. His areas of clinical interest include ARDS, mechanical ventilation, respiratory monitoring, and endpoints of resuscitation.

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Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


This activity has been reviewed by the Nurse Planner. It has been determined that the material presented here shows no bias. No conflicts of interest have been identified for any individual with the ability to influence the content of this activity. Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing education only and does not imply AACN or ANCC approval or endorsement of any commercial products discussed or displayed in conjunction with this educational activity.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC's) Commission on Accreditation, ANCC Provider Number 0012. AACN has been approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the California State Board of Nursing (CBRN), California Provider number CEP 1036. This activity is approved for 0.00 contact hours.

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