Increasing prevalence of domiciliary ventilation: changes in service demand and provision in the South West of the UK

Eur J Pediatr. 2011 Sep;170(9):1187-92. doi: 10.1007/s00431-011-1430-9. Epub 2011 Mar 1.


We examine the incidence and prevalence of domiciliary ventilation in the South West region of the UK, assess trends over 15 years, and describe patient outcome. We conducted a retrospective review of all patients below 18 years receiving domiciliary ventilation in the South West region of the UK between January 1994 and August 2009. Children who received long-term ventilation solely in hospital were excluded from the study. Information was obtained from a locally held database, medical notes, and hospital administration systems. One hundred-six patients were identified. Prevalence has increased since 1994 from 0.2 to 6.7 per 100,000 children. The incidence of both invasive and non-invasive ventilations has increased with a trend towards more non-invasive therapy. The commonest underlying disorders were airway pathology (37 patients), neuromuscular disease (34 patients), and central congenital hypoventilation disorder (17 patients). Sixty-seven patients had significant co-morbidities. Of 38 non-current patients, 19 were transferred to adult ventilation services, 11 died, and 6 were successfully weaned from ventilatory support. In conclusion, there has been a 30-fold increase in the prevalence of paediatric domiciliary ventilation, in the South West region of the UK, since 1994. Co-morbidities are common. Very few children discontinue long-term ventilation, and increasing numbers of ventilated children are transferred to adult services.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Home Care Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Home Care Services / trends*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / complications
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods
  • Respiration, Artificial / statistics & numerical data
  • Respiration, Artificial / trends*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / complications
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ventilator Weaning / statistics & numerical data