Critical Care Medicine Department

Respiratory Care and Therapy Service

Services 

Intensive Care Unit | Heart Station | Metabolic Cart Consult Service | Pentamidine Laboratory
Stat Laboratory | Inpatient/Outpatient Nursing Units | Other Services

Intensive Care Unit: 
The respiratory therapist is integral part of an ICU team made up of physicians, nurses, and other medical staff. The respiratory therapist that works in this area maintains advanced skill to provide the highest quality of care to most critically ill patient. Some of the activities the therapist performs are in the area of ventilator management, diagnostic blood sampling, bronchoscopy assistance, specialized gas administration such as nitric oxide and heliox therapy, and all aspects of hemodynamic monitoring.

Respiratory therapists are active partners with ICU physicians and nurses in managing patients with complicated oxygenation and ventilation disorders.
Respiratory therapists are active partners with ICU physicians and nurses in managing patients with complicated oxygenation and ventilation disorders.

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Heart Station: 
The respiratory therapist provides EKG services to all inpatients and outpatients of the Clinical Center. These EKG procedures are regularly performed at the patients bedside and in the Heart Station. Over 14,000 EKG procedures are performed each year by our staff.

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Metabolic Cart Consult Service: 
Our respiratory therapists routinely perform indirect calorimetry studies in support of various Clinical Center protocols. We work closely with the nutritionists to assess the nutritional status of the patient with the use of an indirect calorimeter. With this information the nutritionist can provide the necessary calories in the patients diet.

Nutritional assessments using a metabolic cart are among the assessments offered by respiratory therapy.
Nutritional assessments using a metabolic cart are among the assessments offered by respiratory therapy. These assessments are performed in close collaboration with the physician, nursing, pharmacist, and nutritionist staffs. These assessments are performed for clinical and research purposes.

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Pentamidine Laboratory: 
Our Section maintains a Pentamidine laboratory that provides aerosolized pentamidine treatments to immunosuppressed patients for the prevention of pneumonia. Our therapists have given over 800 pentamidine nebulizer treatments last year to both inpatients and outpatients.

The respiratory therapy section manages an active aerosol pentamidine service to prevent pneumocystis pneumonia in patients with stem cell transplants and patients with HIV/AIDS.
The respiratory therapy section manages an active aerosol pentamidine service to prevent pneumocystis pneumonia in patients with stem cell transplants and patients with HIV/AIDS.

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Stat Laboratory: 
Our Section maintains a CLIA approved Stat laboratory that serves the patients in the ICU. Our staff are trained in all areas of the lab to include quality control, testing and resulting of patients blood. We perform blood gas, blood glucose, and electrolyte analysis. We also test for activated clotting times in patients on continuous renal replacement therapy. The rapid turnaround rate of the laboratory allows the ICU care providers to make quick decisions if treatment is needed.

The respiratory therapy section manages an active aerosol pentamidine service to prevent pneumocystis pneumonia in patients with stem cell transplants and patients with HIV/AIDS.
An active STAT Lab is managed by Respiratory Care for ICU patients to assure immediate access to urgent and emergent laboratory tests.

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Inpatient/Outpatient Nursing Units: 
Our Section provides care to inpatient/outpatient and day hospitals within the NIH Clinical Center. The therapists support these areas by delivering exceptional care to patients requiring routine respiratory therapy such as oxygen administration, aerosol therapy, non invasive ventilatory support. We also assist with many research protocols to numerous to mention.

Respiratory therapists are actively involved in assisting physicians with bronchoscopies.
Respiratory therapists are actively involved in assisting physicians with bronchoscopies. The NIH Clinical Center serves a patient population that includes stem cell transplants, cancer, immunodeficiencies, AIDS, and autoimmune diseases.

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Other Services 
Our staff are trained to maintain and troubleshoot EEG systems in support of NINDS protocols. Other diagnostic tests performed by our staff include 6 minute walk tests, sputum inductions, arterial punctures and nasal washes.

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This page last updated on 07/26/2017

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