What is domiciliary ventilation?
Domiciliary (at home) ventilation is used to treat a range of common and complex neuromuscular, chest wall and respiratory conditions.
This non-invasive, home ventilation treatment supports the lungs using a breathing device – usually a mask – attached to an electrically-operated ventilator.
Royal Brompton Hospital is the largest centre in Europe providing domiciliary ventilation.
What conditions does domiciliary ventilation help?
Domiciliary ventilation can be helpful for a number of conditions including:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea
- muscular dystrophy
- breathing problems related to motor neurone disease.
At Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Specialist Care, the following consultants can treat private patients who require domiciliary ventilation:
- Dr Alanna Hare - Consultant physician in respiratory and sleep medicine
- Dr Matthew Hind - Consultant respiratory physician
- Dr William Man - Consultant chest physician
- Professor Michael Polkey - Consultant respiratory physician
- Professor Anita Simonds - Consultant physician in respiratory and sleep medicine
What are the benefits of domiciliary ventilation?
For many patients, this ongoing treatment can reduce hospital admissions, extend survival and improve quality of life.
Domiciliary ventilation is non-invasive and is designed to be used at home without medical assistance, meaning patients can spend less time in hospital.
What are the risks of domiciliary ventilation?
Risks associated with domiciliary ventilation relate to power supply and hygiene, rather than the treatment itself. Because the ventilator is electronically-operated, it relies on an uninterrupted power supply; therefore it can stop working if there is a power cut, for example.
There is a small risk of infection if the proper care and hygiene guidelines are not followed by the patient themselves, or their carer.
Are there any alternatives to domiciliary ventilation?
Non-invasive home ventilation uses small, portable ventilators with a nasal or oral mask at night, supporting a person’s lungs as they sleep.
This is a breakthrough in the treatment of sleep disorders linked to lung conditions and there are currently no more effective alternatives.