Nicklaus Children's Pulmonology Division evaluates and treats all kinds of respiratory diseases in children, including asthma
, chronic lung diseases, cystic fibrosis
, pneumonia and tuberculosis. The Division is strongly committed to a multidisciplinary medical approach to these complex disorders. Staff members systematically consult with hospital specialists in gastroenterology, radiology, dietetics, speech pathology and occupational therapy to treat respiratory diseases in children.
The pediatric pulmonology program's Ventilation-Assisted Childrens Center (VACC) applies a similar multidisciplinary approach to the management of its tracheostomy-dependent, oxygen dependent and ventilator-dependent patients. Ventilation-assisted children rely on the developments of biomedical technology to sustain their lives: all have tracheostomies, some require oxygen and others must be fed by gastrostomy tube.
As life-support technology becomes more portable and research data clearly showthat these children thrive best in a supportive home environment, more and more are discharged from the hospital into the care of their families. The resulting stress on family members is often severe. Even with the help of professional home care resources, parents must maintain sophisticated equipment and function as nurses and respiratory therapists for the child, providing round-the-clock medical attention.
Recognizing this family-debilitating stress, the Pediatric Pulmonology Division established a VACC Camp
to alleviate the problem. Unlike other summer camps, the VACC Camp is for entire families. VACC Camp strives to expand both the child's and family's perception of the possibilities for social, educational and physical growth within a technology-dependent lifestyle.