Weaning children from mechanical ventilation in a post-acute care setting

Pediatr Rehabil. 2006 Oct-Dec;9(4):365-72. doi: 10.1080/13638490500523192.


As medical and technological advances have made it possible to prolong the life of children with chronic respiratory failure, children are being referred to post-acute inpatient rehabilitation programmes. In these settings, children can be weaned from their ventilators and receive medical and rehabilitative care in a developmentally supportive environment at a lower financial cost than in an intensive care unit. There is strong evidence that weaning children from mechanical ventilation has beneficial effects on their functionality, ease of care and quality of life. There is, however, little scientific evidence describing how often successful weaning is achieved or the most effective methods. The purpose of this article is to present a consensus report detailing a structured approach to weaning children from mechanical ventilation in a post-acute care setting. This study proposes a Weaning Severity Index and a Weaning Algorithm for use in the assessment and implementation of the weaning process in post-acute rehabilitation. Future clinical studies are needed to validate the suggested approach to ventilator weaning and to determine whether or not the weaning algorithm results in beneficial patient outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / rehabilitation*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Ventilator Weaning / methods*