To review existing definitions of prolonged mechanical ventilation in children.
Review of the literature.
Pediatric patients under mechanical ventilation.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:
We searched the literature for original research on prolonged mechanical ventilation in children using the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines were followed, and we extracted patient characteristics, duration of mechanical ventilation, outcomes, and associated complications. We identified 30 articles for qualitative analysis and found a wide variety of definitions, varying from 48 hours to 6 months. The most frequently used definitions of prolonged mechanical ventilation were greater than 7 days, greater than 14 days, and greater than 21 days. There was no high-quality evidence of a definition for prolonged mechanical ventilation in children.
There is limited evidence to determine the definition of prolonged mechanical ventilation in children. The variety of definitions is a sign of the need for a consensus definition of pediatric prolonged mechanical ventilation.