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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1993 Dec;32(12):706-13.

Morbidity and mortality patterns of ventilator-dependent children in a home care program.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Manitoba Children's Hospital, Winnipeg, Canada.


We evaluated the effectiveness of the Home Care Program of Children's Hospital of Winnipeg for ventilator-dependent children by retrospectively examining morbidity and mortality from February 1, 1979, to July 31, 1992. For the 22 study subjects, the cause of chronic respiratory failure was neurologic disorders for 14 (64%) (group A) and pulmonary disorders for eight (36%) (group B). There were no significant differences between groups A and B in the average number of hospital days, readmission rate, or length of stay per admission. Eleven patients have remained ventilator-dependent at home, four no longer require mechanical ventilation, and seven died. Factors such as diagnosis, type of family, home location, age at initiation of mechanical ventilation, and initial duration of hospital stay did not influence morbidity or mortality in either group. Within the overall mortality rate of 32% is a higher rate among patients whose disorders initially carried a poor prognosis. Ventilator-dependent children can be successfully managed at home, with few nonelective hospital readmissions, through a well-organized home care program.

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