In 9 years of surveillance of postoperative lower respiratory infections, the infection rate in patients following regional anesthesia was 0.2% and 0.1% in patients following general anesthesia. No bacterial filters in the breathing circuit were used. Infected patients had risk factors such as type of surgery, American Society of Anesthesiologists class ≥2, old age, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or smoking habits. Infections were not clustered. This suggests that, in our setting, patient factors are most important in the development of postoperative lower respiratory infections and that the role of bacterial filters as a preventive measure is negligible.