It is important to realize that guidelines cannot always account for individual variation among patients. They are not intended to supplant physician judgment with respect to particular patients or special clinical situations. IDSA considers adherence to these guidelines to be voluntary, with the ultimate determination regarding their application to be made by the physician in the light of each patient's individual circumstances.
These guidelines are intended for use by healthcare professionals who care for patients at risk for hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), including specialists in infectious diseases, pulmonary diseases, critical care, and surgeons, anesthesiologists, hospitalists, and any clinicians and healthcare providers caring for hospitalized patients with nosocomial pneumonia. The panel's recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of HAP and VAP are based upon evidence derived from topic-specific systematic literature reviews.