Tracheostomy and home ventilation in children

Semin Neonatol. 2003 Apr;8(2):127-35. doi: 10.1016/S1084-2756(02)00220-8.


The last 30 years have brought a significant emphasis on home care for ventilator-dependent children. While the movement was driven by the desire to minimize healthcare costs, the advancements in medical knowledge and technology, and the change in the perception of a ventilator-dependent child have offered a fertile environment for the development of programs that support the chronic care of ventilator-dependent children at home (N. Engl. J. Med. 309(21) (1983) 1319; J. Pediatr. 106(5) (1985) 850; N. Engl. J. Med. 310(17) (1984) 1126; JAMA 258(23) (1987) 3398). In addition, the advances in medical and nursing care have led to the steady increase in the number of children with chronic respiratory failure and development of multi-disciplinary teams experienced and dedicated to the care of these children. Another trend that has also contributed to the rise in the number of pediatric patients using long-term mechanical ventilation is the parental expectation of long-term survival of their child. This parental expectation continues to grow as the effect of long-term mechanical ventilation on quality of life and longer survival becomes more evident. The primary indication for use of home mechanical ventilation is chronic respiratory failure (CRF) as indicated by hypoxemia and or hypercapnia. CRF is considered to be a condition persisting for greater than 1 month and requiring mechanical ventilation during part or all of the day to provide adequate gas exchange for the support of vital function (Chest 103(5) (1993) 1463).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Care* / methods
  • Home Care Services, Hospital-Based / standards*
  • Humans
  • Hypercapnia / prevention & control
  • Hypoxia / prevention & control
  • Long-Term Care
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods
  • Respiration, Artificial / standards*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Tracheostomy*