Our respiratory therapists provide continuous 24-hour coverage in The Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU), while also assisting in the training of respiratory therapy and medical students, neonatology fellows, and pediatric residents.
All of our NICU therapists are certified registered respiratory therapists (RRT) and some also are credentialed as neonatal pediatric specialists (NPS). Our RRTs manage, in collaboration with the medical team, any infant who is on high-flow nasal cannula or mechanical ventilation (invasive or non-invasive), including conventional and high-frequency ventilation.
Respiratory therapists are integral members of the multidisciplinary care team and they respond to all high-risk deliveries including those of infants born before 32 weeks gestation, infants with serious congenital defects, or infants who need respiratory assistance upon delivery. Our RRTs also respond to other critical events within the hospital such as newborn rapid response, newborn and pediatric code blue, and code OB. They also accompany all internal transports for patients who are on non-invasive or invasive respiratory support. The department operates and maintains a STAT blood gas laboratory to facilitate optimal and timely management of infants requiring respiratory support.