From: The Respiratory Therapy Society of Ontario
Date: March 25, 2020
COVID-19 Patients in Critical Care Depend on Respiratory Therapists
(BARRIE, ON)- The Respiratory Therapy Society of Ontario (RTSO) is a non-profit organization devoted to the promotion of Respiratory therapy. There are over 3700 clinicians who are registered as licensed respiratory therapists in the province of Ontario. These health care professionals serve the medical community across the province in settings such as hospitals, family doctors’ offices, community care and medical equipment sales and support.
Currently, with medical staff in our hospitals operating on an “all hands-on deck” philosophy respiratory therapists are part of the critical care team that specializes in the respiratory management of COVID-19 patients including mechanical ventilation and oxygen therapy.
These therapists undergo unique 3-year course of medical training specifically aimed at cardio-respiratory medicine at a limited number of provincially funded colleges.
Respiratory Therapists are an integral part of the health care system and are highly trained in areas such as ventilation and airway management, CPR and oxygen therapy. They care for patients in outpatient testing including stress tests and breathing tests, teach about disease prevention, attend high risk births, support patients in rehab and assist in operating rooms.
Respiratory Therapists treat patients with Asthma, Chronic Lung disease, heart disease and pneumonia. These patients range in age from newborns to adults and all ages in between.
“Respiratory Therapists are an indispensable part of the medical team. Without their clinical knowledge and technical skills critical care medicine would simply not be possible. They are frontline professionals in the fight against COVID19” – Dr. Adarsh Tailor, Respirologist/Intensivist Royal Victoria Health Center
Ventilators also known as mechanical ventilator, respirator or breathing machine is a life support system that helps people breathe when their lungs stop working effectively. A ventilator is connected to the patient through a tube placed into the mouth down the windpipe (intubation) or a hole in the neck called a tracheostomy. The ventilator blows gas (a mixture of air and oxygen) into the patient’s lungs. The ventilator is managed by Respiratory Therapists and usually one Respiratory Therapist can manage 6-8 ventilated patients during their shift.
In this unprecedented time the Respiratory Therapists of Ontario are at the bedside and in the community working alongside our nursing, physician and allied healthcare colleagues to care for the vulnerable and acutely ill patients including those with COVID 19. The RTSO recognizes and commends the efforts of every healthcare provider and those Respiratory Therapists at the front line of care.
Media Contact Mrs. Sue Jones RRT
President of the Association of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario
It is imperative to have services and supports in place to keep RTs protected, mentally fit and healthy to ensure we can carry on our important and heavily replied upon expert services in this very intense and stressful role…for the good of each one of us and the patients we serve.
Respiratory therapists (RTs) work as essential members of rapid response, various code, disaster, radiation and other emergency response teams.