What is respiratory failure in children?

Respiratory Failure in Children
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How is respiratory failure in children treated?

To help your child's lungs get enough oxygen, the doctor may use a few devices. These vary in how much oxygen they give and how they help your child breathe. They are:

  • A nasal cannula (say "KAN-yuh-luh"). This is a thin tube with two prongs that fit just inside your child's nose.
  • A special face mask that delivers more oxygen. There are different kinds. A face mask with a bag on one end is called a non-rebreather mask.
  • A high-flow nasal cannula. It can warm and wet the oxygen it delivers, so getting high amounts of oxygen feels better to your child.
  • A face mask that gives your child oxygen through a bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machine. It uses different air pressures when your child breathes in and out.
  • A ventilator that helps your child breathe or that breathes for them. It controls how much air and oxygen flow into the lungs. This machine requires a breathing tube in the windpipe. It can be uncomfortable, so your child may get medicine to help them relax or sleep. They also will get fluid through an intravenous (I.V.) tube.

Your child will get regular tests to see how much oxygen is in their blood. Tests also can show how well their lungs are working. These tests help the doctor adjust the machines and oxygen supply.

The doctor will watch your child closely.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.

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