Breathing Institute

About the Ventilator Care Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado

Contact Info

Ventilator Care Program
(720) 777-6181


The Ventilator Care Program is an interdisciplinary program that provides care to infants with chronic respiratory failure. Many conditions can cause chronic respiratory failure in infants, including interstitial lung diseases and bronchopulmonary dysplasia, the chronic lung disease associated with premature birth.

The Ventilator Care Program is offered in the Breathing Institute

The Ventilator Care Program was created to make life easier for families by coordinating the complex care needed for these children. It includes three overlapping components: the inpatient unit, inpatient consultation and outpatient/home care.

Inpatient Unit 
The Pediatric Respiratory Care Unit (PRCU) is a centralized, inpatient care center for tracheostomy and ventilator-dependent children, children who require non-invasive ventilation and other patients who may require specialized respiratory care services. A team of experts from many disciplines works with these kids with special health needs.

Inpatient Consultation 
Our inpatient consultation service provides assistance for patients who need long-term ventilator support and related airway care within the NICU, PICU, CICU and other units. These consults involve an interdisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, and therapists who help with ongoing breathing problems and address the developmental delays of these infants and young children. 

Outpatient Care 
Our outpatient program links inpatient care and outpatient consults or referrals from other centers with long-term outpatient/home care. The Special Care Clinic currently follows a large number of patients with tracheostomies and chronic ventilation and plays a very important role in the outpatient program along with our ongoing Pulmonary Clinics. The neonatologists at Children’s Colorado also play a critical role as liaisons between the inpatient and outpatient programs. These specialists are actively involved with our inpatient conferences, assist with the transition of our patients from inpatient to outpatient settings and help coordinate care with the rest of the team. 

Our care team 
Our team includes experts from pulmonology, respiratory therapy, nursing, neonatology and critical care, in addition to developmentalists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists, nutritionists, case managers, social workers and other care providers. Respiratory therapy is central to the care of these children and the education of their families and caregivers. This team is very experienced in available community resources. We help to coordinate appointments for patients so that they can see Pulmonary, ENT (ear-nose-and-throat), and other specialists on the same day when possible.

Why choose the Ventilator Care Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado?

The Ventilator Care Program provides key features that are required for the successful care of children with chronic ventilator needs by linking inpatient and outpatient care, and by bringing together an interdisciplinary team of care providers with expertise and focused interest in providing the highest quality of care to these patients and their families. 

Conditions we treat

The Ventilator Care Program provides care for a broad range of disorders including:

  • Central hypoventilation syndromes
  • Congenital airway abnormalities
    • Tracheomalacia and bronchomalacia
    • Tracheoesophageal fistula
    • Tracheal stenosis
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Severe scoliosis, abnormal thorax
  • Severe congenital heart disease
  • Central nervous system (CNS) disease
    • Head trauma, asphyxia and infection
    • Severe cerebral palsy
  • Osteogenisis imprefecta

Services offered

The Ventilator Care Program offers multidisciplinary care in the inpatient and outpatient settings, as well as family education and support services.