Mechanical ventilation can be lifesaving, but >50% of complications in conditions that require intensive care are related to ventilatory support, particularly if it is prolonged. We retrospectively evaluated the medical records of patients who had mechanical ventilation in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) during a follow-up period between January 2002-May 2005. Medical records of 407 patients were reviewed. Ninety-one patients (22.3%) were treated with mechanical ventilation. Ages of all patients were between 1-180 (median: 8) months. The mechanical ventilation time was 18.8 +/- 14.1 days. Indication of mechanical ventilation could be divided into four groups as respiratory failure (64.8%), cardiovascular failure (19.7%), central nervous system disease (9.8%) and safety airway (5.4%). Tracheostomy was performed in four patients. The complication ratio of mechanically ventilated children was 42.8%, and diversity of complications was as follows: 26.3% atelectasia, 17.5% ventilator-associated pneumonia, 13.1% pneumothorax, 5.4% bleeding, 4.3% tracheal edema, and 2.1% chronic lung disease. The mortality rate of mechanically ventilated patients was 58.3%, but the overall mortality rate in the PICU was 12.2%. In conclusion, there are few published epidemiological data on the follow-up results and mortality in infants and children who are mechanically ventilated.