American Association for Respiratory Care


AARC Congress 2014 Gazette for Friday, Dec. 12

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Phil Kittredge Memorial Lecture
Ebola: From Sierra Leone to Sin City

by Lewis Rubinson MD PhD

Editor’s Note: Dr. Rubinson presented the Kittredge Lecture this morning. Here’s his recap for those who were unable to attend.

The current outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) caused by the Zaire species originated in Guinea and continues to plague West Africa. By the end of November, nearly 16,000 persons had been infected and almost 7,000 had died. As a consultant clinician for the World Health Organization at Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone, I was the clinical lead during a September deployment and had the opportunity to witness the clinical features of the disease as experienced by several hundred people under our care.

Sporadic cases of EVD are likely to continue in the United States as long as the EVD outbreak in West Africa continues at its current magnitude. Since some people with EVD develop critical illness, respiratory care professionals may be involved in caring for these patients. We can all benefit from lessons learned from the West African experience to develop preparedness and response recommendations for U.S. health care responders. Many of these recommendations will focus on respiratory care issues.

Dr. Rubinson is director of the Critical Care Resuscitation Unit at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. He previously served as chief medical officer (acting) of the National Disaster Medical System.

DRIVE4COPD Contest Winner

In the second half of 2014, the AARC and DRIVE4COPD sponsored an online screening contest to screen the “missing millions” who may be at risk for COPD. AARC members were asked to use a unique screening webpage and track the number of screens performed with their AARC number. The AARC member with the largest number of screens won a complimentary registration to AARC Congress 2014. The lucky winner is Michelle Murray from Denton, TX! Congratulations, Michelle, and thanks for helping us raise awareness and evaluate risk for COPD.

Sputum Bowl Results!

Thursday night the finalists in the AARC’s 2014 Sputum Bowl competition fought it out at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center in Las Vegas — and two teams were left standing. Congratulations to the Texas Renegades in the practitioners’ division and to the Colorado team in the respiratory therapy students’ division!

Runners-up in the students’ division were Maryland/DC (second place), with a tie for third place between Michigan and Texas.

Runners-up in the practitioners’ division were California (second place), with a tie for third place between Minnesota and Michigan.

The winner of the Fred Helmholz Award was presented to the team exhibiting the highest level of sportsmanship — Maryland/DC practitioners!

Prior to his death in 2012 (and just a week after celebrating his 100th birthday), Dr. Helmholz had been a major presence at the annual Sputum Bowl competitions where he served as a judge, introducing new generations of RTs to his wisdom and wit.

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