Respiratory therapists are at ahigh risk for developing respiratorydisorders, according to asurvey of 275 respiratory therapistsand 628 physiotherapists.
The findings showed that respiratorytherapists were at least 2times as likely as physiotherapiststo report being awakenedby difficulty breathing, receivingan asthma diagnosis after enteringthe profession, or having anasthma attack or wheeze. Workrelatedfactors leading to asthmaincluded cleaning the instrumentswith disinfectionts andtreating patients with aerosolizedribavirin. The biggest indicatorwas the use of an oxygentent or hood to deliver aerosolizedagents, which raised therisk of asthma 8-fold. (The findingswere reported in Chest,October 2004.)