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Wise resourcing

Bringing their respirator from home reduces anxiety for children, you and families

Respiratory Therapy now allows children and youth to use their own ventilators when they stay at CHEO. This improvement to care has two great benefits — children and youth are more relaxed using a ventilator they are familiar with and, especially during peak season, CHEO is not in danger of running out of machines.

“This initiative is the result of excellent team work to address two factors, current capital restraints and more importantly, patient safety,” says Andrea Winters, Professional Practice Leader for Respiratory Therapy.

When a child or youth is admitted, their personal ventilator is inspected by the respiratory therapist and biomedical engineer to ensure the unit meets all safety requirements for cleanliness and functionality. This eases the anxiety of children and youth (and their parents), knowing that of all the things they must contend with while in hospital, a new new-to-them ventilator is not one of them.

November to March is viral season, an especially busy time of year at CHEO. During these months, Emergency Department (ED) visits go up and there is an unusually high demand on hospital equipment, like ventilators. Allowing children and youth to use their own machine when they are admitted frees the corresponding ventilator for use in the ED.

“There have been times when all of our home ventilation equipment was in use, and loaner units needed to be arranged,” says Andrea. “Allowing someone to use their own ventilator will reduce the chances of this happening.”

A head and shoulders photo of Andrea Winters, CHEO’s Professional Practice Leader for Respiratory Therapy.

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