Health care resource utilization for children requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation via tracheostomy

Colin M. Rogerson, Andrew L. Beardsley, Mara E. Nitu, A. Ioana Cristea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: More children are discharged from ICUs on prolonged mechanical ventilation (PMV) via tracheostomy than ever before. These patients have long hospitalizations with high resource expenditure. Our objective was to describe the characteristics of these resource-inten-sive patients and to evaluate their costs of care. We hypothesized that subjects requiring PMV for neurologic diagnoses would have higher costs, longer hospital length of stay (LOS), and worse outcomes than those with primarily respiratory diagnoses. METHODS: We identified 50 pediatric subjects between January 2015 and December 2017 at our institution who had a new tracheostomy placement and were enrolled in a home mechanical ventilation program. Collected data included demographics, indication for tracheostomy, LOS, hospital costs, readmissions, and outcomes. We also compared subjects who required PMV for respiratory diagnoses versus neurologic diagnoses. RESULTS: Of 50 subjects, 41 were < 12 months old at the time of tracheos-tomy. Thirty-four subjects had a respiratory diagnosis requiring PMV, 14 had a neurologic diagnosis, and 2 had a cardiac diagnosis. The total initial hospitalization cost was $31,133,582, which averages to $622,671 per subject. The average initial hospitalization LOS was 155 d. Respiratory subjects had longer LOS and higher average costs than neurologic subjects. The average readmission rate was 2.16 per subject in the first year after discharge, and the average readmission cost per subject was $73,144. Eight subjects died in the first year after discharge, and 4 suffered a serious morbidity. CONCLUSIONS: This descriptive study evaluated the social and medical characteristics of subjects being discharged from the pediatric ICU with PMV via tracheostomy, as well as quantified the financial impact of their care. Those requiring PMV for neurologic diagnoses had shorter hospital LOS and lower hospital costs than those with respira-tory diagnoses. No definitive differences in outcomes were found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1147-1153
Number of pages7
JournalRespiratory care
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Chronic ventilation
  • Home ventilation
  • Pediatrics
  • Resource utilization
  • Tomy
  • Tracheos-tomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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