Home Ventilator Program

The Pediatric Home Ventilator Program is dedicated to the care of children with severe breathing problems that require mechanical ventilator support.  We take care of patients from infancy through young adulthood.   Our program is the largest in Michigan, and one of the largest Pediatric Ventilator Programs in the country.

Each member of our team is committed to improving the health and quality of life of children who are dependent on ventilators or ventilation devices to breathe.  This includes children who receive positive-pressure ventilation through a tracheostomy tube, as well as children who receive “non-invasive ventilation” through a nasal or face mask. 

Our mission is toprovide cutting edge, comprehensive, and coordinated care to children who require respiratory support.  Care is family-centered and based on the latest research and clinical evidence.  Our scope of practice flows seamlessly from the inpatient unit to the outpatient clinic to home and community. 

Conditions we treat

We specialize in the management of the following medical diagnoses:

  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia/chronic lung disease of infancy – A disease of prematurely-born infants in which the process of lung development is arrested. 
  • Tracheomalacia/bronchomalacia – A conditionin which the walls of the trachea (windpipe) or bronchi (branches of the windpipe)are abnormally soft, leading to narrowing or closure during exhalation.   
  • Restrictive Lung Disease – A disease in which inflation of the lungs is prevented by compression.  The lungs may be compressed by abnormalities of the rib cage and spine (including scoliosis, kyphosis, Jeune syndrome), excessive muscle activity (cerebral palsy) or increased abdominal pressure (eg liver disease).
  • Neuromuscular Disorders– A disorder in which a patient cannot exert the proper respiratory effort to breathe. Neuromuscular disorders include the muscular dystrophies, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and spinal cord injuries.
  • Central Hypoventilation – A condition characterized by breathing that is too weak or slow to meet the needs of the body.  This may occur in children with congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS), acquired central hypoventilation, meningomyelocele, brain malformations and seizures. 
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea – A condition characterized by episodes of stopped breathing during sleep, usually associated with structural abnormalities of the airway.
  • Other Chronic Lung Diseases – Any disease or disorder in which lung function is impaired.

Our services

We provide cutting-edge technology and advanced ongoing management to ventilator-assisted patients, including the options of both non-invasive ventilation (via a face or nasal mask) and invasive ventilation (via a tracheostomy tube).  Select patients may undergo diaphragmatic pacing.  Comprehensive clinical assessment services include carbon dioxide monitoring, pulse oximetry, pulmonary function testing, bronchoscopy and polysomnography to track patient well-being.  The team also provides in-depth education to families in preparation for discharge and for ongoing management of their child at home.

Our team

Pediatric Vent Team

Care is delivered by a multidisciplinary team which includes the following specialists:

  • Pediatric pulmonologist will evaluate and optimize respiratory function and mucus clearance and mechanical ventilation.  The pulmonologist will also monitor for sleep disordered breathing.   Annual testing includes pulmonary function for children ages 5 and older (when able) and carbon dioxide and oxygen saturation levels.  The team includes five pediatric pulmonologists (link to bios)
  • Pediatric rehabilitation physician will work with families to optimize function through modalities of therapy and assistive devices including wheelchair seating and bracing. 
  • Clinical dietitian supports and guides the nutritional plan for each child based on their degree of involvement and clinical situation.  The dietician monitors growth and body chemistries through blood tests and recommends nutrition based on this information.  The dietician works collaboratively with families to incorporate family preferences into the nutritional plan.
  • Social worker assists families in navigating the many dimensions of care including advocating with insurance, school and community resources and providing supportive counseling to families.
  • Nursing team includes nurse practitioners and a registered nurse to provide care coordination, family and professional education and phone support.
  • Respiratory care clinical specialist supports the respiratory care needs and equipment required including ventilators, cough assist machines, and chest oscillator vests. Specialists provide family and professional respiratory education and phone support.

The Pediatric Home Ventilator Team also participates in the a number of multidisciplinary clinics at Mott Children’s Hospital, including the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) clinic, Duchene muscular dystrophy clinic and VEPTR program for thoracic insufficiency.

Schedule an appointment by calling us at 734-615-3267