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The Infant Tracheostomy and Home Ventilator Program helps babies who need prolonged ventilator assistance to live at home while still receiving the respiratory support they need.

Children’s Mercy has one of the largest home ventilator programs in the country. The total number of ventilator-dependent infants and children cared for at home has grown to more than 250 patients. Over 70 active patients remain ventilator-dependent, living in Kansas City and surrounding communities both in Missouri and Kansas.

Our team includes neonatologists, advanced nurse practitioners, a care coordinator, nutritionist, and social worker. On-site multispecialty support is provided by dedicated otolaryngologists, pulmonologists, and gastroenterologists. Often, the neonatologist who cares for your baby in the hospital will oversee their ongoing care at home. We also coordinate with your child’s specialists on their comprehensive care plan.

The program is designed for babies who need ongoing respiratory support but are otherwise ready to be discharged from intensive care. We will provide you with extensive training and practice sessions with the equipment. A doctor is available by phone 24 hours a day for questions and support.


The region's highest level NICU.

The program continues to provide primary and intensive care services that include the following:

  • Regular ambulatory and same day sick visits

  • Four half-day clinic a week

  • Caregivers and private duty nurses for live telephone consultations

  • Coordination of complex medical, surgical and other pediatric subspecialty care

  • Interdisciplinary family-centered care team approach

  • Coordination of in-home private duty nursing and medical supplies and equipment services

  • Provision of counseling and psychosocial support for families and caregivers

  • Advocate for ventilator-dependent infants and children to maintain and improve state and federal sponsored health care funding

Additional subspecialty visits are scheduled on the same clinic day as needed. Early intervention, occupational and physical rehabilitation services are provided at home through State-sponsored programs with follow up evaluation as needed in the rehabilitation clinic, in the same physical space as the home vent clinic.


Complications of prematurity: Kieesha's story

Born at just 26 weeks’ gestation, Kieesha Pentlin may have complex medical needs, but with the Children’s Mercy Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on her side, today she’s not just surviving, she’s thriving!

Meet Kieesha
Kieesha Pentlin laying down with her arms behind her head and smiling.