This study by Charles Vincent and colleagues, published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, looked at the nature and causes of reported patient safety incidents relating to care in the community for children dependent on long-term ventilation with the further aim of improving safety.
Common problems in the delivery of care included issues with faulty equipment and the availability of equipment, and concerns around staff competency. There was a clearly stated harm to the child in 89 incidents (40%). Contributory factors included staff shortages, out of hours care, and issues with packaging and instructions for equipment.
This study has identified a range of problems relating to long-term ventilation in the community, some of which raise serious safety concerns. The provision of services to support children on long-term ventilation and their families needs to improve. Priorities include training of staff, maintenance and availability of equipment, support for families and coordination of care.