Poor socioeconomic circumstances and poverty are perceived to be barriers to successful home ventilation. Pediatric home ventilation has escalated rapidly in high-income countries but is underreported and underfunded in low-middle income countries. A retrospective chart review covering the past 20 years was carried out at the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, a low-middle income country. Data collection included demographics, socioeconomic and family factors, clinical information, and ventilation-related information. Fifty-five children received home ventilation between 1994 and December 2015 from a median age of 3.5 years (range 0.4-17.6). Thirty-nine (71%) children received invasive ventilation and 16 (29%) children received mask-assisted ventilation. Most common primary diagnosis was a neuromuscular disease (60%). Twenty-six children (47%) were still on home ventilation in December 2015, 8 (15%) had been weaned off ventilation, and 21 (38%) had died. Median time between initiation of ventilation and discharge was 15 days (range 1-52) for mask-assisted ventilation and 88 days (8-991) for tracheostomy-assisted ventilation. Of the total 40 readmissions in the first year of home ventilation, 34 (85%) were emergency readmissions mainly necessitated by respiratory infections (n = 26; 65%). Despite a high prevalence of socioeconomic challenges, 89% of the children were successfully discharged on home ventilation. Main cause of death was acute infections (n = 11; 52%). Pediatric home ventilation in South Africa is feasible despite difficult socioeconomic circumstances. Survival outcome was comparable with that of high-income countries. However, a high level of psychosocial support and interventions is needed.

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doi.org/10.1089/ped.2016.0727, hdl.handle.net/1765/104739
Pediatric, Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology

van der Poel, L., Booth, J., Argent, A., van Dijk, M., & Zampoli, M. (2017). Home Ventilation in South African Children: Do Socioeconomic Factors Matter?. Pediatric, Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology, 30(3), 163–170. doi:10.1089/ped.2016.0727