Background: Children receiving home medical care need special attention to prevent unexpected death. The aim of this study was to clarify the factors contributing to death in children receiving home medical care from the child death review database. Methods: Children receiving home medical care were enrolled from the child death review database from 2014 to 2016 in Aichi prefecture, Japan, with a population of one million children. Types of medical care and factors contributing to death were examined. Results: Of the 631 children who died, 40 children (6%) were receiving home medical care (21: tracheostomy; 19: ventilator; 26: suctioning of naso-oral secretions; 19: oxygen inhalation; 32: tube feeding; 6: urethral catheterization; and 1: peritoneal dialysis). The death rate was 50 times that in the general population of children. Ten children had contributory factors that seemed to be preventable. In four children, the families could not replace the tracheostomy tubes during an accident. In three, oxygen saturation or ventilator alarms were not set appropriately. In two, an oxygen cylinder became empty. One child fell down from a seat in a car. Conclusions: Improvement of devices and correct guidance to caregivers may reduce the death rate in children receiving home medical care. Impact: Children receiving home medical care, such as tracheostomy care, mechanical ventilation, or tube feeding, need special attention to prevent unexpected death.In this population-based child death review, 6% of children received home medical care, and it was estimated that 1 of 100 children receiving home medical care died per year.One-quarter of the deaths could be preventable by caregiver education or development of devices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health