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Pediatr Neonatol. 2012 Oct;53(5):304-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pedneo.2012.07.005. Epub 2012 Aug 29.

Outcome of long-term mechanical ventilation support in children.

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Division of Pediatric Critical Care and Emergency Medicine, Taiwan, ROC.



Improved technology and care in recent years have significantly improved the prognosis and quality of life for patients on long-term mechanical ventilation. This study examined the status of children on long-term mechanical ventilation (MV) support in Taiwan.


The medical records of patients between January 1998 and December 2006 were retrospectively reviewed, and the clinical factors were systematically reviewed.


One hundred and thirty-nine (139) patients aged 3 months to 18 years, with 53 (38.1%) girls and 86 (61.9%) boys, were enrolled. The common underlying disorders included neurologic/neuromuscular diseases (n=100, 71.9%) and airway/lung dysfunction (n=19, 13.7%). After instituting MV, the children returned to the medical center mainly for infection (n=157, 47.7%) and elective surgery or procedures (n=46, 13.9%). After long-term follow-up, 37 (26.6%) died, 81 (58.3%) were transferred to respiratory care wards in local hospitals, and 21 (15.1%) received home care support.


There are now more children on long-term MV support in Taiwan and most are in respiratory care wards in local hospitals. The shift in underlying diagnoses from pulmonary disease to neurogenic respiratory insufficiency affects hospitalization. The main cause of respiratory insufficiency is neurologic insult.

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