New DVD Trains Health Care Workers On Respiratory Care During Disasters

The Department of Health and Human Service's (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released a new DVD in order to train health care workers who aren't respiratory care specialists to provide basic respiratory care for adult patients in any mass casualty event.

The DVD, titled “Cross Training Respiratory Extenders for Medical Emergencies,” helps train physicians, physician assistants and nurses during events such as a influenza pandemic or a bioterrorist attack involving anthrax or other agents so they can help out when auxiliary clinical care is necessary.

“The DVD is not intended to train health care professionals to become respiratory therapists, but to expand our respiratory care capacity in the event of a major public health emergency,” said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. “I hope the DVD will get widespread use to ensure that we have
adequate medical resources if confronted by a bioterrorist attack or other large-scale public health emergency.”

The DVD includes six training modules with interactive quizzes to test viewers' knowledge. The modules cover infection control, respiratory care terms and definitions, manual ventilation (using hand-held bags), mechanical ventilation (using the two types of ventilators included in the Federal government's Strategic National Stockpile of medicines and medical supplies for emergencies), airway maintenance and airway suctioning.

The DVD was produced for AHRQ by a team of respiratory care specialists at the Denver Health Medical Center led by Michael Hanley, M.D., as part of Project XTREME. A related report also funded by AHRQ, “Project XTREME: Model for Health Professionals' Cross-Training for Mass Casualty
Respiratory Needs,” provides further information on the training model as well as the research and methodologies used in developing it.

A free, single copy of the DVD and a CD- ROM with the report may be ordered by calling (800) 358-9295 or by sending an e-mail to [email protected]

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