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Mass Casualty Respiratory Failure: Etiologies and Surge Capacity Considerations

-Describe events that may lead to mass respiratory failure incidents
-Describe types of injury and respiratory failure patterns based upon natural and man-made disaster events
-Discuss implementation of mass respiratory failure care outside of conventional hospital settings
-Discuss oxygen and ancillary equipment supply demands during mass respiratory events
-Understand staffing and triage issues associated with mass care of respiratory patients

Speaker Information

Asha Devereaux, MD, MPH

Strategic National Stockpile Ventilator Program

-Describe the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) ventilator request process.
-Describe SNS ventilator kitting, storage, and maintenance activities.
-Describe how SNS ventilators may be allocated during a pandemic or other public health emergency.

Speaker Information

Catherine Mitchell MSN, BSN, RN / Health Scientist
CAPT U.S Public Health Service

The Role of the Respiratory Therapist in Mass Respiratory Failure

Respiratory therapists are essential personnel in a mass casualty respiratory failure event. From triage in the emergency department to care of the ventilated patient in the ICU, the respiratory therapist plays a critical role in the allocation of therapy and equipment as well as patient care. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the issues related to staffing and staff burn out as well as how management can impact these concerns. Therapists provided early oxygen therapy and awake prone positioning as well as invasive ventilation and rescue therapies. The individual therapist and the RT department need to be prepared through education and training.

Learning Objectives:
-Discuss emergency room triage concerns
-Discuss prioritization strategies during time of increased census and acuity
-Discuss alternative methods to ensure appropriate staffing used during COVID-19 pandemic
-Discuss education and training needs in rapidly changing environment

Speaker Information

Carolyn J. La Vita, MHA, RRT, RRT-ACCS, RRT-NPS

The SNS: A Clinicians Perspective

Over the last two decades AARC has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response to train clinicians on the role of the respiratory therapist in mass casualty care and the ventilators in the strategic national stockpile. All in anticipation of a mass respiratory failure event. COVID-19 was the first event which resulted in wide dissemination of the SNS ventilators. In the midst of the crisis, there were 3 types of ventilators in stockpile (a total of approximately 14,000 ventilators). Use of these ventilators in patients with ARDS and viral sepsis was met with variable success. During the COVID pandemic, this number ballooned, with the addition of approximately 150,000 ventilators (over a dozen new models- 2 of the 3 original devices were scrapped). The ventilators currently available in the SNS will be discussed with regard to functionality and utility. The characteristics of patients cared for during COVID-19 will be discussed and the essential requirements of the ventilators will be reviewed.

Learning Objectives:
-Describe the characteristics of patients requiring mechanical ventilation in a mass casualty respiratory failure event and the features of a mechanical ventilator required for their care.
-Describe the features and utility of ventilators currently in the strategic national stockpile.
-List the limitations of some proposed solutions for ventilator shortages.

Speaker Information

Richard D. Branson MSc, RRT, FAARC, FCCM