Consensus Statement: Prevention and management of respiratory disease in young people with cerebral palsy. For consumers and families

People with mild cerebral palsy can expect to live about as long as people with no disability, but most people with very severe cerebral palsy do not live as long. When people with cerebral palsy die younger than expected, it is usually because of respiratory illness (chest infections). Some young people with cerebral palsy have repeated chest infections. One in eight children with cerebral palsy who are admitted to the hospital need treatment for chest infections, and most of them will have another hospital admission for chest infections within the same year. Hospital stays for chest infections are also more than twice as long for children with cerebral palsy as for other children. Some children stay in hospital for many weeks at a time. This hospital stays affect their quality of life.

Recently researchers have worked out the risk factors for chest infections in young people with cerebral palsy and have used these to develop recommendations for the prevention and treatment of chest infections in children with cerebral palsy.  There are two versions of the document Prevention and Management of Respiratory Illness in children with Cerebral Palsy: Consensus Statement.

This version is for people with cerebral palsy and/or their families. The information in this document aims to enable people with cerebral palsy  and/or their families to:

  • understand respiratory risk factors for people with cerebral palsy,
  • to know what assessments might be prescribed
  • to know what treatments might be beneficial.

Another version has been published for professionals (including doctors, physiotherapists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and nurses, dentists, dietitians) who work in organizations that help young people with cerebral palsy.

Download the Consensus statement


Consensus statement to be -re-reviewed  2027