The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2005 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS CAN PLAY A ROLE IN THE DELIVERY OF ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY

Allen G. Kendall, RRT, Curtis F. Buck, RRT, Martin D. Abel, MD, Keith G. Rasmussen, MD Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota

BACKGROUND: Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) remains a major therapeutic option for the treatment of severe psychiatric disorders. Patients receiving ECT require a brief general anesthetic for this procedure. For years at the Mayo Clinic, the anesthetic team consisted of one Anesthesiologist, and two Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) whose duties included brief pre-procedural assessment, Intravenous (IV) Catheter insertion and airway management. Staffing and cost considerations led to the replacement of the CRNA function with Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT). We retrospectively reviewed patient data to identify adverse outcomes including serious arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, stroke, cardiac arrest, endotracheal intubation, and unplanned Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or hospital admission related to anesthetic care.

METHODS:
Data from Anesthesia, Emergency Department and Hospital Admission electronic records were reviewed from a cohort of 100 consecutive hospital in-patients receiving a series of ECT treatments over a 5 month period from January 2005 through May of 2005.

RESULTS:
After extensive review, no adverse outcomes were identified relating to anesthetic care or ECT.

CONCLUSION:
Properly trained Respiratory Therapists can safely and effectively assist with the delivery of Electroconvulsive therapy, allowing reallocation of traditional anesthesia providers to surgical operating rooms.

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