Hospital readmissions for newly discharged pediatric home mechanical ventilation patients

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2012 Apr;47(4):409-14. doi: 10.1002/ppul.21536. Epub 2011 Sep 7.


Background: Ventilator-dependent children have complex chronic conditions that put them at risk for acute illness and repeated hospitalizations.

Objectives: To determine the 12-month incidence of and risk factors for non-elective readmission in children with chronic respiratory failure (CRF) after initiation on home mechanical ventilation (HMV) via tracheostomy.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study of 109 HMV patients initiated and followed at an university-affiliated children's hospital between 2003 and 2009. Patient characteristics are presented using descriptive statistics; generalized estimated equations are used to estimate adjusted odds ratios of select predictor variables for readmission.

Results: The 12-month incidence of non-elective readmission was 40%. Close to half of these readmissions occurred within the first 3 months post-index discharge. Pneumonia and tracheitis were the most common reasons for readmission; 64% were pulmonary- or tracheostomy-related. Most demographic and clinical patient characteristics were not statistically associated with non-elective readmissions. Although, a change in the child's management within 7 days before discharge was associated readmissions shortly after index discharge.

Conclusion: Non-elective readmissions of newly initiated pediatric HMV patients were common and likely multifactorial. Many of these readmissions were airway-related, and some may have been potentially preventable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pneumonia / epidemiology
  • Respiration, Artificial / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tracheitis / epidemiology
  • Tracheotomy / statistics & numerical data