Long term mechanicaly ventilated children: our experience

The number of children with chronic respiratory insufficiency needing mechanical ventilation is rising. Our objective was to determine the number of such children in the Republic of Croatia, what diseases they suffer from, how long they have been mechanically ventilated, and where they are accommodated. Between 1st of January and 31st of December 2007, we sent questionnaires to 22 medical centers in the Republic of Croatia. The respondents were children between the ages of 0 and 18 undergoing long-term mechanical ventilation. We defined long-term mechanical ventilation as ventilation going on continuously for three months or longer. Our results show that there were 16 children on long-term mechanical ventilation in the Republic of Croatia in 2007. The most common diagnosis was spinal muscular atrophy, from which seven of the children suffered. Eight children were treated at the Children’s Hospital Zagreb. The advance of technology and intensive treatment have produced a new category of patients, whose vital functions depend on mechanical support. The increasing number of such patients results in ethical, economic and medical problems. It is of great significance to determine the number of children on long-term mechanical ventilation because it requires adjustment of the health and social care system.
Keywords: RESPIRATION, ARTIFICIAL – statistics and numerical data, economics; LONG-TERM CARE – economics; DISABLED CHILDREN; CROATIA – epidemiology; RESPIRATORY INSUFFICIENCY – etiology; SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHIES OF CHILDHOOD – complications
Category: Clinical observations - professional paper
Volume: Vol. 53, No 1, january - march 2009
Authors: L. Mikecin, Lj. Popović, J. Meštrović, M. Novak, S. Galić, V. Čulić, I. Mihelčić Andrić, E. Stoini, D. Richter, S. Čubelić, M. Kujundžić Tiljak, S. Pušeljić
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