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Chapter: Clinical Anesthesiology: Perioperative & Critical Care Medicine: Critical Care

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Respiratory Care

Respiratory care refers both to the delivery of pul-monary therapy and diagnostic tests and to the allied health profession that has become an integral part of cardiopulmonary diagnostics and critical care.

Respiratory Care

Respiratory care refers both to the delivery of pul-monary therapy and diagnostic tests and to the allied health profession that has become an integral part of cardiopulmonary diagnostics and critical care. Respiratory therapists’ scope of practice encom-passes medical gas therapy, delivery of aerosolized medications, airway management, mechanical ven-tilation, positive airway pressure therapy, critical care monitoring, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, and the application of various techniques collec-tively termed chest physiotherapy. The latter includes administering aerosols, clearing pulmonary secre-tions, reexpansion of atelectatic lung, and preserv-ing normal lung function postoperatively or during illness. Diagnostic services may include pulmonary function testing, arterial blood gas analysis, elec-trocardiography testing, and evaluation of sleep-disordered breathing. The majority of respiratory care procedures are based on clinical practice guide-lines developed by the American Association for Respiratory Care using best practice/evidence-based medicine criteria.

 

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