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27 On-line national survey to explore the changes in practice of paediatric long-term ventilation
  1. Heather Elphick1,
  2. Nicki Barker1,
  3. Aditi Singh2,
  4. Catherine Jesson1 and
  5. Omendra Narayan2
  1. 1Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester, UK


Background Long term ventilation (LTV) refers to mechanical support for breathing either at home or in hospital, for all or part of the day, for at least 3 months. Two national surveys carried out in 1998 and 2008, highlighted the increasing numbers of ventilator dependent children throughout the UK . Our objective was to collect current information about children receiving LTV in the UK, 10 years after the last national survey.

Methods All LTV centres in the UK completed a single time point census survey on 30th September 2019 using an electronic questionnaire. Data included the child’s location, underlying diagnosis, interface and type of respiratory support, and whether disease-modifying drugs affected the decision to initiate LTV in specific groups within this target population.

Results Data was collected from 25 LTV centres. The total study population was 2383 children and young people. The median age of the overall sample was x (range x-x). 40.3% female; 57.2% of those recorded were male. Diagnoses were 417 (17.5%) central nervous system, 692 (29%) musculoskeletal and 1274 (53.5%) a respiratory, of which 31.8% of the total had upper airway obstruction. Notable changes since 1998 were the decline in the use of 24-hour ventilation, negative pressure ventilation and tracheostomy as an interface, and the increase in the proportion of patients treated at home. 115 children had received a disease-modifying drug. The use of Ataluren and Myozme did not influence the decision to treat with LTV, but in 35% of the children treated with Nusinersin the clinician stated that the use of this drug had or may have influenced their decision to initiate LTV.

Conclusion The number of children being treated with LTV has increased by 250% in the last 10 years with notable changes in practice over the last 20 years.

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