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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My answers to your RT Querries

The following are all queries typed into search engines by inquiring minds and landed those individuals on my blog. Because I want to make sure everyone has his or her questions answers, I will provide my response right here

This week there were no questions sent to me by email. If you have a question you can sent it to me (anonymously if you want) at

So, that in mind, here are today's queries and my responses.

1. singulair for dander: I'm sorry, but singulair will not stop, prevent, nor treat dander. I think what you are looking for is head 'n shoulders. You can buy it at any Pharmacy near you.

2. albuterol prevents pneumonia death: Albuterol prevents nothing. It does not prevent rickets, it does not prevent CHF, it does not even cure asthma. It also does not prevent these things. And while many doctors order it for pneumonia, it has no purpose being ordered for that diagnosis. Or, just because someone has pneumonia does not make Albuterol indicated. What it does is treats the SYMPTOM of bronchospasm only. So, if the patient is having underlying bronchospasms with the pneumonia, then it is justified.

3. steam for asthma, copd: Steam is not good for asthma. Check out this link.

4. am i smart enough to be a respiratory therapist: I asked myself that same question 13 years ago. Then I did my first tour of a hospital and saw some really dim witted people who were doing fine as RNs and RTs. Here is what I kept telling myself from then on as I worked my way through RT school: "If that person can do this job, so can I."

5. too much albuterol and impotence: I think you can take Viagronex or Screwtonix. See my list of 'olins at the bottom of this blog.

6. respiratory therapy vomit: RTs hate vomit pure and simple.

7. how do you fake pneumonia: I don't think a patient can fake it, but a doctor can make up the diagnosis because he thinks a patient should be admitted but can't think of any other diagnosis that would meets criteria for reimbursement. I wrote about this today over at Respiratory therapy 101. Click here and I will morph you on over there.

8. pulmonary edema and ventolin: Ventolin has no effect on anything but bronchospasm. Nothing else need be said.

9. how to prevent asthma shaking: I asked my doctor this once, and he said, "What's worse, shaking or suffering of an asthma attack? I'd take shaking anytime." I don't think there is a cure for shaking other than time. I think once your asthma gets better and you are able use ventolin less frequently, then you might shake less. Also, you should note that high doses of corticosteroids can make you shaky, so if you are on oral or IV steroids, you may stop shaking when your dose is cut down. Serevent can also make you feel shaky when you start taking it, but once your body gets used to it the shaking should go down.

10. do respitory therapist have to take people off life support?: Yes we do. We are responsible for extubating and turning off the vent. For some reason I think the person writing this question was thinking of a terminal wean. In rare instances we have to remove life support of a patient who might be brain dead or otherwise permanently comatose. In the majority of these instances the patient expires shortly after the removal of life support. If I have time I watch the cardiac rhythm strip on the monitor and watch as it transforms into a fatal rhythm. I know this sounds morbid, but we medical workers are all strange in that we enjoy weird things like this.

11. can albuterol cause pneumonia? No study has proven it. The side effects to Ventolin are relatively mild, and most doctors agree that you cannot overdose on the medicine either. The most common side effect is jitteriness, although it can cause hyper activeness in some children.

I hope my answers help.

If you have any further questions you may email me at

(Note #1: I had some technical difficulties with my email recently, so if you sent in question that wasn't answered, please send it again.)

(Note #2: I have a new policy for the way I answer questions here a the RT Cave. Any questions emailed to me at will be published and responded to in my weekly RT Queries post. When I answer your question I will send you a link to the post your question is published in. I will not answer your question in a private email unless a private response is requested or indicated).

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