Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2021 Apr 19. doi: 10.1089/sur.2020.477. Online ahead of print.
Background: Many trauma centers have empiric treatment algorithms for ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) treatment prior to culture results that include antibiotic agents for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) coverage that can have adverse effects. This is the only study to evaluate risk factors and MRSA nasal swabs to risk-stratify trauma patients for MRSA VAP, thereby potentially limiting the need for empiric vancomycin. Patients and Methods: This was a single institution retrospective cohort study. Adult patients admitted to the trauma intensive care unit (ICU) between January 2013 and December 2017 who had a MRSA nasal swab and subsequently met criteria for VAP were included. Demographics, risk factors for MRSA pneumonia, and culture results were collected. Results: A total of 140 patients met inclusion criteria. The negative predictive value (NPV) of MRSA nasal swab at predicting subsequent MRSA pneumonia was 97%. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value were 50.0%, 96.2%, and 44.4%, respectively. Smokers were more likely to develop MRSA pneumonia, odds ratio: 7.0 (p = 0.02). When considering non-smokers with a negative MRSA nasal swab, NPV was 100%. Conclusions: This is the only study to date that assesses the utility of MRSA nasal swab and risk factor data to guide empiric VAP antibiotic therapy in trauma patients. Smoking was found to be a risk factor for MRSA pneumonia. The use of MRSA nasal swabs in combination with smoking status to guide empiric use of MRSA coverage antibiotic agents is recommended because of a 100% NPV. When utilized, as many as 68% of patients may safely be spared MRSA coverage antibiotic agents and the related adverse effects.