Term Respiratory Therapy
Code LR-1570.7000-700
Definition Programs that evaluate, treat and care for patients who have breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders including premature infants whose lungs are not fully developed, elderly people whose lungs are diseased, patients with chronic asthma or emphysema and patients who are victims of a heart attack, stroke, drowning or shock. Working under the supervision of a physician, respiratory therapists are responsible for measuring lung capacity and providing treatments and exercises that help to improve or restore lung function. Care may include the use of oxygen or oxygen mixtures, vaporized medications delivered by inhalation, chest physiotherapy which removes accumulations of mucus from the lungs and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, if required. Respiratory therapists may also connect patients who are unable to breathe on their own to a ventilator that delivers pressurized oxygen into the lungs and monitor ventilator settings that control the rate, volume, and oxygen concentration of the oxygen mixture.
Created 6/25/08
Changed 5/12/10
Use References
See Also References Ventilator Care (LR-1570.7000-860)
Ventilator Weaning (LR-1570.7000-900)
External Classification Terms Health (CAN HC-300)
Health Care (USA HC-300)
Inpatient Rehabilitation (UW
Outpatient Rehabilitation (UW
Rehabilitation Services (NPC E12)
Rehabilitative Care (NTE E50)
Related Concepts Disabilities
Facet Service
Bibliographic References Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2004-05 Edition, Respiratory Therapists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos084.htm (visited April 16, 2004).

“Respiratory Care Career Overview”, Mayo School of Health Sciences, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic website, http://www.mayo.edu/mshs/resp-career.html

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