eLibrary – high value pix – alveolus ARDS (injured vs. repaired)


This picture printed in NEJM 2000 is a great picture to learn from.

I will expand on content at a later date.

Simply GOOGLE search for images with the following “nejm 2000 ards alveolus”.

Pick the image.

And then choose “View image” for a picture of moderate resolution.


QoW – 2016 – Q4 – 001 – The Consummate Respiratory Therapist – Thinking Outside the Box

You are called for a patient who is agitated & having a desaturative event  >  you see the following as you enter the room :






The Intensivist meets you at the patient bedside to discuss the patient.  His SBAR report :

S – Situation :  Patient agitated & demonstrating oxymetric desaturation to 69%.

B – Background :  Cardiogenic shock  > Post-op day #3 ; Hospital day #4.

A – Assessment :  Patient agitated but looks comfortable.

P – Plan :  Increase FiO2 from 35% to 50%.

Do you concur?

QoW – 2016 – Q3 – 003


The patient was on the following ventilator parameters in the CTICU :  SIMV-VCV,  RR(set)=8,  Vt(set)=700,  FiO2=50%,  PEEP=5.

The patient will be in the MRI suite for the next 75 minutes.

a) what will the settings be on this ventilator ?

b) how do you set patient trigger ?

c) how do you set Vt(set) on this ventilator (the “cheat sheet” was ripped off of the side of this ventilator).

d) if you use the vent with the settings that are currently dialed in, what will the ventilators translate to in standard ventilator parameters.



eLibrary – FREE



Build up your eLibrary starting with this gem – great hemodynamic tutorial. Hemodynamics is a huge part of our jobs as respiratory therapists and being proficient is key to being a great practitioner.

Anyone and everyone should get this booklet if you are interested in hemodynamics.

It is free to download.

Google search “edwards hemodynamics pdf” and then select the search item I have identified in the inset.

If you go to the Edwards website’s homepage, there are other good booklets for free.

There is a lot of good stuff out there for free from our vendors.

As I have opportunities, I will post them – I will use the key search words eLibrary or FREE so the references can be found.

SBAR – quick report format – situation, background, assessment, recommendation



In a nutshell :

SBAR – quick / rapid report handoff format adopted by hospitals.

why the submarine pic ?  SBAR format was initially designed by submarine personnel.

The long winded version :

(in a submarine : deep, deep underwater with limited oxygen supply and tons of crushing pressure all around, there is not time for lengthy speeches – its more like “you have 2 seconds to tell me what’s wrong and how you would fix it”.


I was told a long time ago, by my supervisor back then, “don’t come to me with just a problem … have a suggested solution as well”.  I have always liked that management style and give her credit for introducing me to that notion.


The third point, always know the history of anything and everything (in this case : SBAR came from the military).

We should treat a patient in crisis just like we were having a crisis in a submarine :

tell me the problem.

give me relevant background quickly.

tell me why you think the problem happened.

tell me how you would fix it.

Pulmonary Alveolar De-Recruitment – a cautionary tale of frivolous suctioning


set-up : clock, coke bottle, ETT, ballard suction device, suction source.

BEFORE : coke bottle (=2L of volume) – approximate the size of your lung.


AFTER : how long to suction 2L of air out of a closed system (totally FLATTENED)?  15 seconds.

In a nutshell :

Benefit : rids the lung of secretions.

Risk : may cause atelectasis to varied extents depending on the patient’s pulmonary status.

The risk : benefit ratio approaches unacceptable level of risk when the lung has a propensity to want to collapse.


The long winded version :

A long time ago, I read that when suction is initially applied on a closed system that has been connected since the last time the patient was suctioned, the initial insult of the “built-up suction back-pressure” (BUSBP) might be excessively high.

If the pressure had been set at -100cmH2O, the “built-up suction back-pressure” may be in the range of -250-300cmH2O.

Therefore, it was important to break the suction circuit before apply suction to the patient.

That article suggested / demonstrated that excessively negative pressures might collapse a lung.

In this case, the demo shows that a 2L coke bottle can be flattened in approximately 15seconds of normal continuous suctioning.

Most people I see suctioning are quick to suction the trachea but leave continuous suctioning on (~15 seconds) while they clear the line with NSS  (normal saline solution).


Situation : Patient sounds junky.

Background : Patient has been in the hospital for 2days post-op.  HD=2  POD=2

Assessment : Patient suctioned but “did not get anything.”

Recommendation : Start mucomyst.


Be wary of frivolous suctioning.


The intrinsic beauty of human physiology >> Beauty of the ICU >> “Art” in the ICU >>(CO = HR x ??)


“In a Nutshell” :  the beauty of human physiology

Although this is just a swishing and sloshing of stuff in the ICU, there is intricate beauty in this clip … just activate the “replay” function of the movie player your PC uses.

The urine output flow is demonstrated in the clear urine “moving along” in the urimeter set.

The blood sloshing around represents the collection moving around to the beat of the HR.

Between these 2 fluid volumes sloshing around, is the implied requisite stroke volume per heart beat.