Respiratory Care 2009

The Gold Standard in Respiratory Care Meetings

Congress Gazette

55th International Respiratory Congress • December 5–8, 2009, San Antonio, Texas

Monday, December 7

House of Delegates elect 2010 officers

New officers for the House of Delegates are Thomas Lamphere, BS, RRT, speaker; Billy M. Lamb, BS, RRT, CPFT, FAARC, speaker-elect; Sheri Tooley Peters, RRT-NPS, CPFT, AE-C, secretary; and Debra Skees, BS, RRT, CPFT, treasurer.

President Myers announces 2010 AARC goals

AARC President Timothy Myers, RRT-NPS, spoke at the annual business meeting yesterday morning, where he presented the top priorities for the AARC in 2010, the final year of his tenure.

Get Flash Player to see this player.

While the AARC has had several large challenges this year, including the ongoing health care debate in Washington and the economic conditions today, the Association is strong and in good financial position. One major goal for 2010 is to continue growth of AARC membership to reach 52,000 within the next year, said President Myers. The Association currently has a membership of just under 50,000 worldwide.

President Myers noted that these are the goals the AARC will pursue in 2010:

  1. Develop and execute strategies that will increase membership and participation in the AARC.
  2. Promote patient access to respiratory therapists as medically necessary in all care settings through appropriate vehicles at local, regional, and national venues.
  3. Continue to advance our international presence through activities designed to address issues affecting educational, medical, and professional trends in the global respiratory care community.
  4. Identify the clinical/non-clinical skills, attributes, and characteristics of the “Respiratory Therapist for 2015 and Beyond” based on the expected needs of respiratory care patients, the profession, and the evolving health care system.
  5. Develop a leadership and mentoring institute (process) to promote the advancement and growth of respiratory research, management skill sets, and education curriculums and practices to meet the future demands of the profession.
  6. Promote the access of quality continuing education to develop and enhance the skill base of current practitioners to meet the future needs of our profession.
  7. Maintain and expand relevant communication and alliances with key allies and organizations within our communities of interest.

President Myers said the AARC is also looking at ways to generate additional revenue streams other than Congress attendance and membership dues to support the AARC’s mission to serve its members.

In concluding his annual address to the membership, President Myers said that some organizations have named 2010 “the year of the lung,” so it is only fitting to also declare next year “the year of the respiratory therapist.”

Military members put on great show at Roche 5K

Despite the cold temperatures, military RTs came out in force yesterday morning for the Roche 5K, running in formation through the streets of San Antonio.

The large contingent of therapists—mostly students from the Interservice Respiratory Therapist Program at Fort Sam Houston—sang cadences as they went, drawing the attention of everyone watching the event from the sidewalks or their vehicles.

The military RTs were joined, of course, by a great group of Congress attendees from across the country, who all came out to get their day off to an invigorating and healthy start.

Military salute

Speaking of the military, with so many military RTs and other medical personnel in San Antonio for the meeting, the AARC wants to take this opportunity thank them not only for coming to the Congress, but more importantly, for all that they do to protect our freedoms.

Congress-goers have been thanking them all this week as well, as they’ve come by the AARC booth in the Exhibit Hall to visit with members of our Military Roundtable, who have been on hand to talk to folks about how the roundtable is supporting the needs of our colleagues in uniform.

Your Lung Health program gives back to the community

The AARC typically hosts a consumer health program during the Congress, but this year we took a different approach. The 2009 Your Lung Health Public Health Program moved outdoors yesterday afternoon, with volunteers setting up displays and informational materials in the Gazebo in Alamo Plaza, located right across the street from the world-renowned Alamo.

The event drew plenty of foot traffic, as folks out to see the city’s most famous attraction spotted our display and came over to learn a little about lung health from AARC members who were on hand to provide information about pulmonary conditions, answer questions about medications and devices, and demonstrate the use of medication devices and peak flow meters.

“Our Your Lung Health program is always a great way to give something back to the city that is acting as our host for the AARC Congress,” says AARC COO Thomas Kallstrom, RRT, AE-C, FAARC.

36th Donald F. Egan Memorial Lecture
Air and Soul: The science and application of aerosol therapy

by Bruce K. Rubin MEngr, MD, MBA, FAARC

This lecture reviews the history of aerosol therapy, discusses patient, drug, and device factors that can influence the success of aerosol therapy, and identifies trends that will drive the science of aerosol therapy in the future. Aerosol medication is generally less expensive, works more rapidly, and produces fewer side effects than the same drug given systemically. For thousands of years, aerosol therapy has been used by steaming and burning; but in the 50 years since the invention of the MDI, advances in drugs and devices have made aerosols the most commonly used means to deliver therapy for asthma and COPD.

Many devices have been developed to target the effectiveness of aerosol inhalation and deposition. The requirements for aerosol therapy depend on the target site of action and the underlying disease. Medication to treat airways disease should deposit on the conducting airways. Effective deposition of airway particles generally requires particle size between 0.5 and 5 µm MMAD, but a smaller particle size neither equates to greater side effects or greater effectiveness. However, medications, like peptides intended for systemic absorption (insulin, growth hormone), need to deposit on the alveolar capillary bed. Thus, ultrafine particles, a slow inhalation, and relatively normal airways that do not hinder aerosol penetration will optimize systemic delivery.

Aerosolized antimicrobials are often used for treating CF or bronchiectasis, and mucoactive agents to promote mucus clearance have been delivered by aerosol for treating a variety of diseases. As technology improves, a greater variety of novel medications are being developed for aerosol delivery, including: pulmonary hypertension (prostacyclin analogues, epoprostenol, and iloprost), immunizations and vaccines (influenza and tuberculosis), dyspnea (morphine), airway inflammation (alpha-1 antiprotease, glutathione), migraine headache (ergotamine), nicotine and drug addiction, and, ultimately, gene therapy.

Common reasons for therapeutic failure of aerosol medications include the use of inactive or depleted medications, inappropriate use of the aerosol device, and most importantly, poor adherence to prescribed therapy. The RT plays a key role in patient education, device selection, and outcomes assessment.

Sputum Bowl: final four teams compete tonight

After two days of intense competition, four teams remain standing in each division:

  • The "final 4" headed to the Student Sputum Bowl tonight are the teams from Arizona, California, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
  • The "final 4" competing for the National Sputum Bowl are Maryland/DC, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The fun begins at 7 pm in the Marriott Rivercenter Ballroom. Come and support your favorite team, and have a great evening with old and new friends. You will not want to miss the half-time show featuring the Laryngospasms. You can see a preview of this comical group of nurse anesthetists at or YouTube, where their songs have over 2 million hits.

Stay tuned to tomorrow’s Online Gazette to learn who came out on top.

2009 Human Resource Study delivers targeted information

The AARC conducted a sweeping survey of the profession last spring, and Congress-goers are busy purchasing the report in the AARC Store in the Exhibit Hall. But if you aren’t at the meeting, no worries: you can buy your copy in our online store.

Managers and educators would do well to pick up a copy, say our Management and Education Section chairs.

“During these trying economic times, it’s imperative to ensure that your staff are being compensated at a level that is commensurate with other RTs in your geographic area,” notes Doug Laher, MBA, RRT. “The results from the survey will allow you to do just that.”

Lynda T. Goodfellow, EdD, RRT, says educators can use the data on vacant positions in their area to justify faculty salaries and believes the study will help with student recruitment as well. “Information from the study will be very useful when potential respiratory therapy students ask questions about the current and future supply and demand of respiratory therapists in their area.”

We’ve gone global

The AARC Congress is welcoming another 6 international fellows this week, and their presence at the meeting is complimented by a growing contingent of international attendees and presenters as well, who will all gather for a reception this evening that will serve both as a fund-raising event and an opportunity to honor the international fellows, the fellow sponsors, city hosts, International Council for Respiratory Care Governors, and winners of the Héctor León Garza Award and the Koga Medal.

“AARC’s international involvement has steadily increased over the past 20 years,” says John Hiser, MEd, RRT, FAARC, chair of the International Committee. “We now have over 600 international members from 60 countries, and our International Congress is a reflection of how diversified we, as an organization, have become. Last year in Anaheim we had attendees from more than 20 countries, and I would expect that we will have a similar turn out here in San Antonio.”

Our 2009 international fellows are: Yue-hua Yuan, BS, RT, RN, China; Adriana Maria Davalos Goiriz, MD, Paraguay; Keiko Hasegawa, MD, Japan; Aliaksandr Makarevich, MD, PhD, Belarus; Noel Tiburcio, MBA, RRT-NPS, United Arab Emirates; and Bolanle Adefuye, MBBS, FWACP, Nigeria.

Vent 5K: 2009 champs!

This year’s Ventilator 5K events took place all over the country, and now the results are in. The winning team is from Weber State University in Ogden, UT. The respiratory care program will receive a Carina® home ventilator, donated by Draeger.

Want to get in on the action in 2010? Find out how to host an event of your own next year.

Respiratory Care Education Annual call for papers

The AARC will publish Volume 19 of the Respiratory Care Education Annual in the spring of 2010, and the Education Section invites educators to submit papers for consideration. Deadline for submission is Feb. 15, 2010. Papers should be approximately 6 to 10 pages in length, with abstracts less than 120 words. For more information on style and format, e-mail Dennis Wissing.

Journal presentations provide need-to-know information

What are Congress-goers learning this week during the annual RESPIRATORY CARE Journal presentations?

In a conference review session, Richard Branson, MS, RRT, FAARC, and Neil MacIntyre, MD, FAARC, are sharing the results of a recent conference on controversies in RC, summarizing what the best minds in the business believe are our most pressing issues for 2010 and beyond.

A symposium is featuring 5 presentations by leading members of the journal’s Editorial Board, who tackle everything from why you should care about peer review to how journals like RESPIRATORY CARE assess papers for publication. It’s all intended to equip attendees with the right tools to understand the literature and engage in meaningful discussions about it with their fellow health care professionals.

AARC industry support statement

The AARC is proud of the collaboration we have had with friends in industry for many years, and we wish to acknowledge our appreciation for their unrestricted educational grants for the AARC International Respiratory Congress. All sponsored sessions are identified by the program, handouts, and signage. The AARC accepts support only on the condition that the Program Committee be the sole organizer of all sessions, including selection of speakers and topics.

Copyright © 2009 American Association for Respiratory Care.