Home Ventilation Program

The Seattle Children's home ventilation program cares for children who require assistance with breathing using a ventilator through a tracheostomy. Some children require ventilation throughout their life, and others require it for a period of a few years while growth or healing takes place.

What services do we offer?

The home ventilation clinic cares for children with a wide variety of diagnoses, including: 

  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (premature lung disease)
  • Airway and lung malformations, such as tracheomalacia or congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS)
  • Neurologic disorders with abnormal breathing control or breathing muscle weakness
  • Restrictive lung disease from scoliosis or chest wall difference

Our mission is to provide the best breathing care possible so that your child has every opportunity to grow, develop and participate fully in life with your family and community.

During a clinic visit, you and your child will see several team members, including a pulmonary doctor and nurse specializing in ventilator care, a respiratory therapist, a dietitian, a speech-language pathologist if needed, and a social worker if needed. We will address multiple pieces of your child’s care, including the following:

  • Evaluate how well the ventilator is supporting your child’s breathing, and if adjustments are needed.
  • Evaluate how well your child is breathing on their own, and discuss if they are ready to reduce ventilator support.
  • Resolve issues with poorly functioning equipment.
  • Discuss any unexpected safety events at home related to the tracheostomy or breathing equipment.
  • Review your child’s growth and nutrition.
  • Encourage eating and speaking, if your child is able.
  • Assist with in-home nursing support, if necessary.
  • Help you navigate school and community systems if issues arise.

Why choose Seattle Children’s?

Seattle Children’s is one of the best pediatric pulmonary programs in the nation. We care for children across the entire state of Washington, and into Montana, Alaska and Idaho, from large cities to very small towns. We have cared for the sickest patients in this region and make it our priority to optimize their care at home. Our team of specialists will work closely with your child and family starting in the hospital, continuing through the duration of their ventilator needs, and beyond.

Meet the Home Ventilation Program Team

Pulmonary doctors

Pulmonary fellows and residents (doctors in training) often assist in clinic visits.

Registered nurses

  • Annie Fretwell, BSN, RN
  • Karen Greenhow, BSN, RN
  • Laura Jameson, BSN, RN

Registered dietitians

  • Regina Nagy-Steinert, RD, CD

Respiratory therapists

  • Amy Hook, RRT, CPFT
  • Debbie Morgan, RRT

Social worker

  • Amanda Fry, MSW

Contact the Home Ventilation Program

  • If your child currently has a tracheostomy tube and is on mechanical ventilation, call Pulmonary at 206-987-4728.