Respiratory failure in paediatric patients

Child in hospital with caregiver ResMed


Children are at risk of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), respiratory distress or respiratory failure if they have:

  • Upper airway obstruction (caused by adenoid and tonsil hypertrophy, high arched palate, laryngomalcia and mircognathia)1
  • Lower airway obstruction or restriction (caused by bronchiectasis or scoliosis) 1
  • Poor muscle tone (frequently associated with congenital conditions including muscular atrophies and dystrophies)1
  • Poor functioning of the pons medulla (brain) and/or central nervous system (caused by congenial central hypoventilation syndrome or spinal cord injury) 1

If young children contract a respiratory infectious disease, they are also at risk of acute episodes of respiratory distress or respiratory failure, and may need respiratory support therapy during this time.

The treatment for paediatric SDB, respiratory distress and respiratory failure ranges from surgery to noninvasive ventilation (NIV) to invasive ventilation.


More ventilation for paediatric patients

ResMed’s paediatric ventilation solution
ResMed’s paediatric noninvasive ventilation (NIV) solution is designed with the comfort and compliance of young patients in mind, giving their caregivers and families peace of mind.
Special considerations for paediatric patients
There are a number of special considerations for paediatric patients using noninvasive ventilation therapy.


  1. Cheifetz IM. Invasive and noninvasive paediatric mechanical ventilation.Respir Care. 2003 Apr;48(4):442-58

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