A child is defined as “medically fragile” when, due to abuse or neglect, illness, congenital disorder or brain injury, he/she requires medications, treatments and/or specialized care or equipment.
Some conditions that may qualify a child as medically fragile are:
- Fetal alcohol syndrome
- Chronic conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis, Down syndrome or post organ transplant care
- Cerebral Palsy
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Failure to thrive
Common treatments and procedures that a medically fragile child may require are:
- A feeding tube placed in the nose, stomach or small intestine to deliver nutrients.
- Intravenous therapy
- Oxygen support or ventilator
- Urinary catherization
- Cardiorespiratory monitoring
Reviewed by Melissa Hendrickson, RN and Director of Health Services at Penfield Children’s Center.
The Medically Fragile Child. <medicallyfragilechild.com>