Many children with long term respiratory conditions require long term ventilation.
Recent clinical advances in Neonatal and Paediatric Intensive Care have increased the incidence of survival of children with life threatening or life limiting conditions. Over the same period technological advances have produced a range of portable, easy to maintain, reliable and efficient mechanical ventilators.
Children who have long-term breathing difficulties needing temporary or permanent ventilator assistance have an increased potential for survival. Thus, management of these patients often requires prolonged periods of admission onto specialist paediatric units, most commonly Paediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU).
This has led to a significant reduction in urgent PICU beds and the diversion of patients requiring PICU over to distant units. Novel approaches are required to manage patients on long term ventilation at home, reducing the need for hospitalisation.