Who are Technology Dependent, Medically Fragile, and Chronically Ill Children?
The advances of modern medicine are saving more infants and children with life-threatening illnesses, premature deliveries (births), and significant accidents and trauma. A small number of these surviving children are left with complex medical conditions that require medical technology and skilled nursing support to avoid further illness or death. These frail children are commonly referred to as Technology Dependent, Medically Fragile, and Chronically Ill Children.
What Medical Devices or Support does Technology Dependent, Medically Fragile, and Chronically Ill Children Need?
There is a vast range of conditions or illnesses affecting technology-dependent children. The majority of these children require nursing support or nursing care. This ranges from monitoring vital signs to the administration of medications to control medical conditions, such as seizure disorders and pulmonary problems. Many of these children are unable to eat or drink orally and may require intravenous hydration or gastrostomy feeding tube. Some of these children also must depend on advanced technologic support in the form of mechanical ventilation and the respiratory care associated with them. Finally, in addition to these medical problems, many of these children are also compounded by developmental and learning delays, which adds to the complexity of their education and care.