RESPIRATORY CARE WEEK
Every year during the last week in October, Respiratory Care Week recognizes members of the respiratory care profession. The observance also promotes awareness of lung health issues and practices.
The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) sponsors Respiratory Care Week each year. Since Autumn is a time when those suffering from lung problems find it difficult to breathe, the week takes place in October.
Respiratory diseases affect the respiratory tract. This includes the alveoli, bronchi, bronchioles, pleura, pleural cavity, and trachea. The respiratory tract also consists of the nerves and muscles used for breathing. The three types of respiratory disease include airway diseases, lung tissue diseases, and lung circulation diseases.
According to the American Lung Association, nearly 37 million Americans suffer from some type of chronic lung disease. Symptoms associated with respiratory disease include difficulty breathing, stubborn cough, chest pain, breathing noisily, chronic mucous, and coughing up blood.
Common respiratory diseases include:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Chronic bronchitis
- Lung Cancer
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Pleural Effusion
Thankfully, there are many things people can do to prevent respiratory diseases. This includes quitting smoking, avoiding second and third-hand smoke, dust and chemicals, exercising, and washing hands regularly to prevent infections.
Those who suffer from respiratory disease often seek treatment from pulmonologists and respiratory therapists.
HOW TO OBSERVE #RespiratoryCareWeek
Clinics that employ respiratory specialists organize festivities and other events in their workplaces and communities. They make special presentations at schools, post videos of their respiratory care team online, and hold staff luncheons. Some respiratory therapy departments invite friends and family to the facility to learn about what they do. Health care organizations and hospitals also host health fairs, informational seminars, and presentations.
Do you know a respiratory therapist or pulmonologist? If so, this week would be a great time to recognize them for all they do. You can also share this week on social media with #RespiratoryCareWeek.
RESPIRATORY CARE WEEK HISTORY
Dr. Edwin Levine established the first inhalation program in 1943. The primary goal of the program was to provide on-the-job training for respiratory therapists. By 1973, the organizations involved in the inhalation program became the AARC. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the last week in October as National Respiratory Care Week.