Respiratory Care

Who needs respiratory care?

Children who receive respiratory therapy are those with diseases or infections of the lungs or who require a ventilator to help them breathe due to another illness or injury. Ventilators are commonly used for children who have had a spinal cord injury or have been born prematurely with underdeveloped lungs.

In addition, children may need respiratory therapy to treat conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

What expertise does Ranken Jordan have in respiratory therapy?

At Ranken Jordan, we have the expertise to care for children with a variety of complex needs. More than 60% of our patients have airway needs.

Our growing team of respiratory therapists brings extensive experience, strong clinical skills and a passion for treating children. As an essential part of the medical team, they closely manage patients on ventilators and artificial airway devices. Our respiratory therapy team works with your child from the day they arrive to the time they go home.

Our high level of expertise is vital as more children are surviving serious illnesses and injuries that result in increased complex medical needs. Children who have medical complexities are more dependent on technology.

What treatments are available for my child?

Ranken Jordan uses advanced technology in respiratory therapy to care for your child’s airways. Through consistent, high-quality treatment, our goal is to prevent unnecessary trips to hospital. Our expert team determines the most appropriate treatment based on your child’s individual needs.

Some treatment examples include:

Vest therapy

Vest therapy is used to clear secretions in the lungs. An inflated vest attached to a machine vibrates the chest to loosen and thin mucus which can then by cleared by coughing or suctioning.

IPV therapy

An intrapulmonary percussive ventilator (IPV) uses air pressure combined with a fine mist to open airways by loosening mucus from airway walls.

Cough assistance machine

The cough assist machine is another way to clear secretions from the lungs to prevent infection. The machine blows air into the lungs and then pulls the air back out to clear mucus. This treatment is useful for children with frequent lung infections, weak chest or abdominal muscles or a weak cough.


Children have access to a variety of medications in respiratory care. Our respiratory therapists are experienced in using various types of aerosol delivery systems, including nebulizers, metered-dose inhalers and dry-powder inhalers.

What’s unique about respiratory care at Ranken Jordan?

Ranken Jordan takes a unique approach to helping children thrive. We believe therapy and recovery happen across the hospital so children at our hospital spend nearly 70% of their waking hours outside of their rooms. This unique care model, called Care Beyond the Bedside, lets children heal through play—because we know that playtime is natural for kids and promotes healing.

To encourage play, our bright, modern facility includes two playgrounds, an outdoor baseball field, a putting green, a reading nook, game centers, a rock climbing wall, and more. Children with airway needs are able to participate in just about every activity.

That means even children on ventilators can get out of their rooms, socialize, participate in activities and even take trips into the community to go trick-or-treating or caroling, go to the movies or the mall, or even go fishing. We go the extra mile to help kids be kids while keeping them safe.

Our medical equipment, including airway devices, is mobile so we can provide care and treatment anywhere—not just in your child’s bed. Even the dining room is shared so your child can socialize with other children rather than eating alone in bed. Our team is always exploring new ways to allow children to do more and just be kids.

Because children may stay at Ranken Jordan for several weeks, we’re able to spend great deal of time with them and build vital relationships to provide the most personalized care.

The goal for each patient is unique based on individual needs. The respiratory therapy team provides the best care possible to help your child become more independent, build confidence, and to feel as normal as possible.

Will my child always be on a ventilator?

Many children who come to Ranken Jordan have been on a ventilator around the clock to help them breathe. Our goal through respiratory therapy is to maintain lung health and build strength to wean patients if possible. This improves mobility and independence.

We bring special expertise and success in weaning patients off ventilators. To accomplish this, we work closely with our physicians, nurses, speech therapists and rehabilitation team through every step.

While not every child may be successful completely off the ventilator, many children make great strides to at least be less dependent on the ventilator.

Success Story: One patient was at Ranken Jordan for nine months. In the beginning, the child was dependent on a ventilator 24 hours a day. Through respiratory therapy, we were able to help the child come off the ventilator during the day. This allowed the child to more easily take trips around town and enjoy just being a kid.

How will we manage going home?

Before families go home, we carefully train caregivers and home nursing staff so they can take optimal care of the child at home whether they are on a ventilator or have other respiratory care needs. And we’re always here for you when you need us.

To help children bridge to home, Ranken Jordan’s multidisciplinary team works closely together to prepare the family for the transition. Our respiratory therapists are an essential part of this process. Children and families depend on them to learn how to live a quality life at home with airway needs.


We’re here to help. Give us a call at (314)872-6400 and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.