Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is hospital-acquired pneumonia that develops 48 h or longer following mechanical ventilation. However, cuff pressure fluctuates significantly due to patient or tube movement, which might result in microaspiration. Subglottic secretion drainage (SSD) has been suggested as a method for VAP prevention bundles. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to investigate the efficacy and safety of subglottic SSD in preventing VAP. The secondary outcomes of this study are to investigate the intensive care unit (ICU) stay length and mortality rate regarding VAP. This study followed the Preferred Reporting Item for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis guidelines. A thorough search of PubMed, Embase, and the Web of Science was conducted between June and August 2022. The study analysis used the Mantel–Haenszel method, and the quality of the included study was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias 2. Eighteen randomized controlled trials with a total of 2537 intubated patients were included. It was found that SSD was associated with a lower risk of VAP (RR 1.44; 95% CI; 1.20–1.73; p < 0.0001). The subgroup analysis (utilizing intermittent and continuous methods) found no statistically significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.28). The secondary endpoints showed that there was no significant difference in mortality (RR 1.02; 95% CI; 0.87–1.20; p = 0.83), but there were substantial differences in ICU stays (mean difference, 3.42 days; 95% CI; 2.07–4.76; p < 0.00001) in favor of the SSD group. This was based on a very low certainty of evidence due to concerns linked to the risk of bias and inconsistency. The use of SSD was associated with a reduction in VAP incidence and ICU stay length, but there was no significant difference in the mortality rate.
- health risk
- infectious diseases
- intensive care unit
- mechanical ventilation
- subglottic secretion drainage
- ventilator-associated pneumonia