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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How do RTs spread nosocomial diseases?

Every week I check my statcounter to see who's typing things into Google or Yahoo and being linked to my RT Cave blog. Assuming the queries were not answered, I provide in this spot each week my humble responses.And, hey, if the query is comical, it deserves a comical response. If it's serious, I treat it as serious. That in mind, here are this weeks queries:

1. hospital low census: The hospital I work for has such a low census the admins are extremely worried. In fact, Jane Sage wrote a post last month about how she respects the way the admins here at Shoreline have been able to keep this place afloat despite the low census. Why is the census low? You'd think there'd be sick people no matter what, and that's true. Part of the problem fewer people are having elective surgeries. Fewer people are electing to have testing done, such as stress testing, labs and the like. These outpatient procedures, and these surgeries, are the bread and butter for the hospital. Hopefully soon the economy will pick up and the admins will have this stressor off their backs.

2. beer and asthma: Beer and asthma don't really bode well together. I think the main reason is beer dries out you lungs. I find that when I go out and drink I almost always have some degree of breathing difficulties the next day.

3. can i mix ventolin and symbicort: Yes. You can still use your rescue inhaler when on Symbicort. The rule is that you NEVER use your Symbicort (or Advair) more than twice a day. Albuterol can be used as often as you need it, or as prescribed by your physician. However, if the Symbicort is doing its job, you shouldn't need your Ventolin very often. If you continue to need your Ventolin when you're on Symbicort you should make sure your doctor is aware of this.

4. symbicort for aspiration wheezing: Symbicort is used to treat and stabilize inflammation in the air passages and prevent bronchospasm. It is not meant to help with aspiration pneumonia.

5. using ventolin in a humidifer: I suppose you could do it, but I can't imagine other than in the mind of some quacky doctor in a fiction tale that it would do any good.

6. can people fake respiratory failure: Believe it or not I've suspected it on more than one occasion. I think if you quit taking your meds, run around the house a few times, and call the ambulance while you're having your asthma attack you might be able to fake it. I think this might be easier to do if you had COPD. I don't know why anyone would want to do it, but it is possible.

7. is symbacort simalar advair: Yes. The two medicines both have a long acting bronchodilator and an inhaled steroid component.

8. how respiratory therapist gives nosocomial diseases?: We don't wash our hands, pick our nose, and touch every patient in the hospital. We share germs. Isn't that the way to do it? Isn't that fair? I don't think we purposely share germs, but there probably are some RTs who don't wash their hands and use proper hygiene and therefore inadvertently spread germs and cause nosocomial diseases. Likewise, we RTs are taking care of patients all over the hospital, and therefore we come in contact with an array of patients with an array of diseases. The best recommendation for preventing nosocomial diseases is hand washing.

9. croup xopenex: My gosh it's used all the time for this by one particular ER doctor here at shoreline, and it never does a thing.

10. nebulized decadron: I gave this once for an adult allergic reaction that caused a croupy cough and stridor. I think studies are inconclusive as to whether it does any good.

If you disagree or agree with my opinion feel free to leave a comment below, as we are all entitled to an opinion. If you have further comments or questions, feel free to write it below or email me.

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