Chronic Ventilator

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Chronic Ventilator

Chronic Ventilator Program

When babies and children need to be on ventilators long-term, we help them and their families stay healthy and move home.

The Chronic Ventilator Program at Children’s Health℠ was created to improve care for babies and young children who have severe breathing problems and need ventilators. These children often have complicated health conditions and need care from many different experts. Our program brings those experts together under one roof, so they can work together to understand your child and give them the best opportunity for a happy, healthy future.

Team ventilator care, tailored to your child

Children with ventilators need care from specialists including doctors, ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialists, nurses, dietitians, respiratory therapists and social workers. At Children’s Health, we’re home to experts in each of these areas who have special training in caring for ventilator-dependent children.

Our Chronic Ventilator Program brings those specialists together to develop specialized plans for each child when they’re in the hospital. After you and your child go home with their ventilator, these experts meet you for follow-up appointments in our outpatient clinic. This means you and your child can see everyone you need in one place instead of traveling to different clinics or different parts of the hospital.

Specialized rehabilitation for ventilator-dependent kids

Many babies and young children need rehabilitation while they are on ventilators. This helps them get physically stronger, which also helps with their breathing.

Our rehabilitation experts provide specialized plans and services for many different types of patients, from premature infants to children with spinal cord injuries.

Helping families move home

Caring for a child with a ventilator can be intimidating. That’s why we offer classroom and hands-on training that teaches parents everything they need to know about tracheostomies, gastrostomy tubes and ventilator equipment. This gives families the tools to be confident and comfortable, so they can keep their child healthy and safe at home.

We can also connect families with in-home nursing specialists who provide around-the-clock care, allowing parents to get much-needed rest.

Long-term support for children and families

Our care doesn’t stop when children and families leave the hospital. We’ll schedule follow-up appointments and clinic visits for as long as your child needs a ventilator. And we’re always here to answer questions when you need us.

For example, families can use our telemedicine program to get advice from nurse practitioners who specialize in ventilator care. These nurses can evaluate your child and answer questions via a video chat, which could mean one less trip to the doctor’s office.

We teach moms and dads how to act like respiratory specialists and nurses. When they take their child home, they’ll feel confident that they can care for their child
Andrew Scott Gelfand, M.D., Chief of Respiratory Medicine at Children’s Health and Associate Professor at UT Southwestern

Meet the Care Team