Children with medical complexity are first and foremost, children. For a wide variety of reasons, some children are either born with, or develop conditions that require significant health care support which might include special medications, interventions, subspecialty care, or assistive technologies. For some children, these care needs are of short duration but for many more the care needs last for a longer period of time.
Children with medical complexity share the following some or all of the following characteristics:
- Medical complexity: multiple health care needs, provided by multiple health care professionals, usually in multiple locations over an extended period of time.
- Fragility: stable health and the ability to enjoy everyday life is a common goal; however many children with medical complexity have both predictable and unpredictable changes in their baseline health.
- Need for assistive technology/medical equipment: in order to maintain health, these children frequently require special devices such as gastrostomy tubes, tracheostomies, central venous lines or other technologies.