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Programs & Services

Ventilator Weaning


Blythedale’s Ventilator Weaning Program is widely recognized as a national center of excellence due to the Hospital’s extraordinary success in weaning fragile infants and children from the technology previously needed to sustain their lives. A multidisciplinary team, led by a pediatric pulmonologist, provides comprehensive care, including medical management, respiratory, physical and occupational therapy, nutrition and feeding, sensory stimulation, and assessment of development. Each patient is assigned their own social worker who works closely with the family to address current and anticipated needs.

The goals of the program are weaning from mechanical ventilation or transition to a portable ventilator. In addition, caregivers are taught home ventilation and tracheostomy care, as well as other aspects of respiratory support. Caregiver training is one of the hallmarks of Blythedale’s care.

At Blythedale, there are typically between 20 and 35 ventilators running daily, with as many as 20 infants and children undergoing weaning on any given day. More than one-third of all children admitted to Blythedale are referred for ventilator weaning and respiratory care. Of those children, 80% are weaned from the ventilator, 85% of our patients are discharged home, and, after six years, 97% of the children weaned remain ventilator free. 

Blythedale is the only specialty children’s hospital in New York State that offers a comprehensive pediatric ventilator weaning program. Blythedale is well-known for superior outcomes and the ability to help patients achieve their maximum potential and meet their treatment objectives. Our goal is to help all of our young patients return to their families and communities.

Additional advantages to patients and families:

  • Board Certified Pediatricians 24/7 and experienced nursing staff (100% R.N.).
  • 24/7 pulmonary and respiratory support (20 full-time pediatric respiratory therapists).
  • State-of-the-art medical technology, monitoring equipment, and new Maquet Servo-i ventilators enable staff to respond to a patient’s rapidly changing condition.
  • Largest hospital-based pediatric therapy department in New York State, with 85 full-time pediatric therapists (physical, occupational, and speech pathology). In addition, a therapeutic feeder (specially trained speech or occupational therapist) is assigned to each patient.
  • 36% of all children are admitted for ventilator weaning and respiratory care.
  • High Flow Nasal Cannula, CPAP and BiPAP management and weaning, geared toward an infant and pediatric population.
  • Expertise in treating pulmonary hypertension.
  • Extensive experience in enteral feeding, weaning infants and children from supplemental tube feeding (naso-gastric, gastrostomy, and jejunostomy).
  • Full-time child neurology and pediatric rehabilitation coverage.
On-Site Services and Support Areas Serving Ventilator
  • Weaning Patients:
  • PediatricMedicine
  • Pediatric Pulmonology
  • Pediatric RehabilitationMedicine
  • Pediatric Neurology
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Pediatric Psychology
  • Pediatric Nutrition
  • Pediatric Respiratory Therapy
  • Pediatric Speech Pathology and Feeding Therapy
  • Pediatric Occupational Therapy
  • Pediatric Physical Therapy
  • PainManagement
Additional Specialty Support Areas Available:
  • Pediatric Ophthalmology
  • Pediatric Otolaryngology
  • Additional consultative specialists as needed
Clinical Support Services
  • Audiology
  • SocialWork/CaseManagement
  • Radiology
  • Lab Services
  • Developmental Specialists
  • Child Life Services
  • Patient Advocacy
  • Adaptive Equipment Clinic
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Last year, 13-year-old Mathew was well-known as a baseball prodigy in the Little League
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Last year, 13-year-old Mathew was well-known as a baseball prodigy in the Little League