Home Care Leads to More Hospital Stays

Children on long-term mechanical ventilation require more ER visits and longer hospitalization

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Long-term mechanical ventilation (LTMV) is often needed to treat lung failure in children with serious conditions such as muscular dystrophy and preemies with underdeveloped lungs. These ventilation systems can be administered at home.

A new study shows the hospital visits stemming from home care is very costly. Children on LTMV require more emergency room visits and increased hospitalization.

"Ask your doctor about ways to reduce health care costs."

Brian D. Benneyworth, M.D., M.S., Pediatric Critical Care and Health Service Research Fellow with the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) unit at the University of Michigan Medical School reports that infants less than one year old made up 25% of the patient population, but used around 50% of the healthcare resources for all the children requiring LTMV.ventilation.

Benneyworth observed that this means that there may be ways to improve the care that these young children receive. Programs in various hospitals have been working to improve the hospital discharge process as well as the home care resources available to them these patients.

This study analyzed all hospitalizations for children requiring long-term mechanical ventilation who were 0-20 years of age. It found that infants and very young children use the highest proportion of health care resources for these young LTMV patients.

Hospitalization time remained the same over the six year period examined, but admissions went up over 55 percent during the same time period.

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Review Date: 
May 30, 2011
Last Updated:
June 1, 2011