Pediatric long-term home mechanical ventilation: twenty years of follow-up from one Canadian center

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2014 Aug;49(8):816-24. doi: 10.1002/ppul.22868. Epub 2013 Sep 2.


Background: Canadian longitudinal data from a pediatric domiciliary long-term mechanical ventilation (LTMV) program is lacking.

Objective: Our aim was to report on the clinical characteristics and trends of children followed in one of Canada's pediatric home ventilation programs over the past 20 years.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted on patients receiving long-term domociliary mechanical ventilation between January 1, 1991 and December 31, 2011 in a single center. Domiciliary long-term mechanical ventilation was defined as the daily use of invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) or noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NiPPV) for at least 3 months, in the users' home or in a long-term residential facility.

Results: Between 1991 and 2011, a total of 379 children were identified (313 [83%] with noninvasive ventilation). The median age at initiation was 9.6 years (interquartile range [IQR] 2.9-13.9), the median duration of ventilation was 2.2 years (IQR 0.8-4.9) and 53% were male. Ninety-nine percent of children were cared for at home. The reason for ventilation was "musculoskeletal" in origin for the majority of children. The number of children receiving long-term mechanical ventilation at home increased from 2 in 1991 to 156 children as of December 2011. There was a twofold increase in the number of invasive ventilation initiations in the second 10 years, n = 45 (2001-2011) as compared to the first 10 years, n = 21 (1991-2000). However, there was more than a fivefold increase in the number of noninvasive initiations in the first 10 years, n = 50 (1991-2000) as compared to the second 10 years, n = 263 (2001-2011). The largest growth was in the 13-18 years age group. There were 55 (15%) mortalities over the study period.

Conclusions: In summary, our 20-year retrospective study has shown that there has been an exponential growth in the number of children receiving domiciliary LTMV with the majority of children having favorable outcomes. Our study represents a step towards developing a Canadian registry to design and implement programmatic change for this medically complex population to ensure best practice for these children as well as their families.

Keywords: domiciliary ventilation; long-term mechanical ventilation; pediatric.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Canada
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / complications
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Home Care Services / trends*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care / trends
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / complications
  • Noninvasive Ventilation / trends
  • Pulmonary Medicine
  • Residential Facilities*
  • Respiration, Artificial / trends*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / complications
  • Retrospective Studies