Journal of the Bahrain Medical Society

Year 2019, Volume 31, Issue 1, Pages 30-36

Original Article

Financial burden of ventilator associated pneumonia among patients in intensive care unit: Kosovo case study

Samir Selimi1 , Gazmend Spahija2 , Lul Raka3, 4*

Author Affiliation

1London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

2 Department of Intensive Care, University Clinical Centre of Kosovo, Prishtina, Kosovo.

3 University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina”

4 National Institute of Public Health of Kosovo, Prishtina, Kosovo.

*Corresponding author:

Lul Raka, University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina” and National Institute of Public Health of Kosovo, Prishtina, Kosovo, Tel: +38344368289, Email:

Received date: December 30, 2018; Accepted date: March 20, 2019; Published date: March 31, 2019


Background and objective: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a predominant type of healthcareassociated infection (HAI) in intensive care units (ICU), associated with increased length of stay(LOS), mortality rates, and costs. We aimed to assess the financial burden of VAP in terms of direct medical costs incurred by the patients treated in ICU.

Methods: A local surveillance dataset was used to perform the assessment of direct medical costs incurred by the patients while being treated for VAP in the ICU at University Clinical Centre of Kosovo (UCCK).

Results: Overall, incidence rate of HAIs in the ICU at UCCK was 62.1% with VAP dominating the infection account (73.2%). The LOS in ICU ranged from 2–44 days with a median time of six days, while the distribution between VAP affected and unaffected patients ranged between 13.5 and 5.4 days, respectively. The mean cost to patients with VAP is estimated as €647±487, which is significantly higher than in patients without VAP (€227±174).

Conclusion: An immediate action is required to introduce better VAP prevention and control measures in the ICU. Evidence-based practices confirm that compliance to hand-hygiene practices, ICU staff education, introduction of regular surveillance, and adequate antibiotic therapy can significantly decrease VAP incidence, save lives, decrease LOS, and reduce costs.

Keywords: Costs, intensive care unit, Kosovo, ventilator-associated pneumonia