Policy briefing

Long-term ventilation: best practice in caring for children and young people

Concerns about standards of care with long-term ventilation reviewed by National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death 
Picture of a newborn receiving ventilation

Concerns about standards of care with long-term ventilation reviewed by National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death

Essential information

Long-term ventilation (LTV) refers to various types of respiratory support provided every day for a period of at least three months.

Ventilation is delivered either via a tracheostomy tube, or non-invasively via a face mask or nasal cannula. The aim of LTV is to improve survival and quality of life in people with conditions that have led to respiratory failure.

Reasons for long-term ventilation

The LTV child population ranges from small, often premature, babies requiring support for lung, airway or central nervous system problems they were born with to older children and young people with failing respiratory or neuromuscular function.

While people on LTV often have multiple co-morbidities and/or life-limiting conditions, their overall survival has improved

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