Pneumonia prevention systems designed to stop ventilator associated pneumonia

What is the problem?

Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lungs due to bacterial, viral or fungal infection. Ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) is a hospital acquired infection that can occur in patients at least 48 hours after they have been given an endotracheal or tracheostomy tube to help or control respiratory function.

100,000 patients are admitted for ventilation in the UK critical care units each year and 10-20% will go on to develop VAP. Between 3,000 and 6,000 people die from this type of pneumonia every year and prevention would save many lives. Treating VAP costs the NHS between £10,000 – £20,000 per patient and conservative estimates for prevention are savings to the NHS of over £100 million.

According to available evidence, what is the suggested solution?



The PneuX system from Venner Medical is one example of technology that aims to prevent ventilator associated pneumonia by minimising the risk of pulmonary aspiration (the entry of material such as food or secretions, into the lungs) in patients having ventilation for 24 hours or more.

PneuX is a cuffed ventilation tube which, together with an electronic monitoring and inflating device, creates a seal in the patient’s windpipe. An effective airway seal with no folds prevents leakage of bacteria contaminated fluid into the lungs. The ventilation tube has multiple drainage ports, allowing the airway to be washed out above the cuff causing bacteria counts to be negligible.


For further information on Pneux and the evidence base follow the related links on the right. You can also have a look at this Economic impact evaluation case study for an estimate of lives and money saved.

Where can I find out more about implementation?

Read the implementation pack and have a look at this video on how the innovation works.

Further details can be found here.


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