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Live Lecture Descriptions

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Acid-Base & Carbon Dioxide Balance (1 hr)
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This lesson explains the physiology and pathophysiology associated with carbon dioxide exchange and acid-base balance. The subject matter includes issues, such; as anion gap, blood lactate and mixed venous values.

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Adult Cardiopulmonary Case Presentations (1 hr)
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This lesson presents eighteen patient scenarios that specifically pertain to respiratory care. The scenarios include pertinent historical data, as well as patients' clinical manifestations, including their chest radiographs.

Learning objective: Adult Patient History and Physical Assessment (1 hr)
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This lesson explains the historical and physical assessment of the adult patient. Herein we explain how to elicit relevant data and the implications for common, abnormal findings. The subject matter includes components of a patient history, cardiopulmonary symptomatology and physical examination, which includes a head-to-toe survey with focus on the chest.

Learning objective: Advanced Assessment Techniques in Critical Care (1 hr)
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This lesson includes advanced assessment techniques use by respiratory therapists for critical care patients. Specifically, we explain procedures for monitoring and optimizing ventilatory mechanics; such as PEEP and tidal volume. Also, we display and explain common ventilator wave form abnormalities and the significance of end-tidal CO2 values.

Learning objectives: ARDS/Acute Lung Injury (ALI) (1 hr)
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This lesson explains the etiologies, manifestations, diagnostic techniques and current management strategies for acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute lung injury. The management strategies that are explained include: general supportive strategies; open lung ventilation; pronation; exogenous surfactant; high-frequency ventilation; nitric oxide and prostacylin; partial liquid ventilation and miscellaneous strategies that are under investigation.

Learning objective: Assessment of the Neonate (1 hr)
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This lesson focuses on the physical and physiological assessment of the newborn. It covers various scoring systems that are used, including the Apgar and Ballard systems. Also, we describe normal and abnormal physical and physiological features of neonates, particularly those reflecting cardiopulmonary status.

Learning objective: Assessment of Oxygenation (1.5 hrs)
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This lesson details and explains the physiological requirements for normal tissue oxygenation, as well as the pathophysiologic events that interfere with tissue oxygenation. We describe and explain five etiologic categories of hypoxia and how each of these affect various measures of oxygenation.

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Assessment of the Pediatric Patient (1 hr)
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This lesson describes and explains assessment techniques applied to pediatric patients, as well as the implications of the data obtained. The assessment methods include history-taking, physical examination, pulmonary laboratory studies and medical imaging studies.

Learning objective: Bioterroristic Threats: Sources, Recognition, & Safety Issues (1 hr)
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This lesson describes four likely bioterrorist threats: anthrax, smallpox, botulism and plague. For each threat, we describe the history, etiology, mode of transmission, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, management and infection control precautions.

Learning objective: Congenital Heart Disease (1.5 hrs)
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This lesson explains the pathophysiology, manifestations, diagnosis and management of congenital cardiac anomalies. The types of anomalies displayed and explained herein include acyanotic, cyanotic, obstructive and conduction defects.

Learning objectives: Current Cardiovascular Agents (1 hr)
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This lesson describes the actions, effects, indications, adverse effects and precaution for agents from the following drug categories: cardiotonic agents; antidysrhythmic agents; nitrates and miscellaneous agents. The miscellaneous agents of specific interest to respiratory therapists include angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and synthetic brain natriuretic peptide.

Learning objectives: Current Issues in Airway Pharmacology (1.5 hrs)
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This lesson presents information on current respiratory pharmacologic agents. We explain the actions, effects, indications and contraindications for medications from the following categories: beta-agonists; anticholinergics; anti-inflammatory agents; mucokinetic agents and miscellaneous agents, like aerosolized lidocaine. The lesson also includes research findings pertaining to administration of bronchodilators during mechanical ventilation.

Learning objective: Current Ventilation Modes and Controls (1 hr)
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This lesson describes and compares modes of ventilation that are available on current ventilators. Furthermore, it describes the current ventilator controls and explains how these are adjusted to accommodate patients' efforts and physiological requirements. The lesson presents the evidence that is currently available pertaining to current ventilator modes.

Learning objectives: Difficult Airway Management (1 hr)
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This lesson describes various causes for difficult airway access, as well as techniques for evaluation of difficult airways. Then, we examine various devices and techniques for accessing difficult airways, including the contents of a difficult airway cart. The devices include fiberoptic laryngoscopes, laryngeal mask airways, bougie intubation stylets, among others.

Learning objectives: Electrocardiographic Monitoring (1 hr)
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This lesson begins with explanation of the electrical activity of cardiac tissue, including how the impulse is generated, as well as the normal conduction pathway. Then, we explain how electrocardiographic (ECG) lead placement affects the ECG wave pattern. We examine the normal ECG, analyzing its normal components. Finally, we display and explain dysrhythmias commonly encountered in the critical care setting.

Learning objectives: Ethical & Legal Issues in Clinical Practice: Adapting Care for Diverse Patient Groups (1 hr)
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This lesson intends to develop cultural competence (CC) among respiratory care practitioners. We describe the ethical and legal bases for CC, as well as the implications for cultural incompetence. Then, we describe the diverse perceptions among cultures with respect to disease, health care and end-of-life. We explain communications issues pertaining to cultural diversity and identify potential blunders pertaining to specific ethnic groups. Finally, we describe strategies and responsibilities for promoting cultural competence at various organizational levels.

Learning objectives: Ethical & Legal Issues in Clinical Practice: Medical Devices (1 hr)
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This lesson describes the legal and ethical issues pertaining to medical devices, the sources of standards for care and the regulation of medical devices. Also, we describe the obligations of practitioners with respect to usage of medical devices. The lesson presents scenarios to exemplify and discuss hazardous medical device situations.

Learning objectives: Ethical & Legal Issues in Clinical Practice: End-of-Life Issues (1 hr)
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This lesson describes the ethical and legal issues pertaining to terminal care that are commonly confronted by respiratory therapists. We describe factors that enter into end-of-life decisions, including culture and religion. Furthermore, we discuss grieving, both normal and morbid, as well as specific stressors pertaining to terminal care that are experienced by respiratory therapists.

Learning objectives: Evidence-Based Practice: Explanation and Implications (1 hr)
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This lesson explains the rationale and ethical-legal implications for evidence-based practice. Furthermore, we explain fundamental research concepts and describe research methods that are applied to evidence-based research. The lesson also provides a framework for evaluating research articles, applying research findings to clinical practice and conducting clinical research.

Learning objectives: Fetal Growth & Develepment (1 hr)
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This lesson describes human growth and development from conception to birth, including maternal-fetal anatomic structures. The description of fetal development focuses on the cardiopulmonary system. We also explain thermoregulation and the thermoregulatory problems associated with neonates.

Learning objectives: General Anesthetic Agents and Procedures (1 hr)
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This lesson explains the procedures and medications involved in general anesthesia. These include anesthesia preoperative assessment, through patient recovery. The agents include premedications, intravenous and inhaled anesthetics, as well as neuromuscular blocking agents.

Learning objectives: Hemodynamic Monitoring (1 hr)
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In this lesson, we explain the rationale, complications and data gathered by both invasive and noninvasive methods for hemodynamic assessment. The non-invasive methods include impedance cardiography, echocardiography and partial CO2 rebreathing. Invasive techniques explained here include systemic arterial; central venous and pulmonary artery monitoring.

Learning objective: Hemoglobin Abnormalies (1 hr)
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This lesson details the structure and functions of normal hemoglobin; then, describe the etiologies, pathophysiology, diagnosis and management for hemoglobin abnormalities. The abnormalities addressed include: polycythemia; various forms of anemia; carbon monoxide poisoning; methemoglobinemia and sulfhemoglobinemia.

Learning objectives: High-Frequency Jet Ventilation (1 hr)
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This lesson explains the rationale, indications and complications for high-frequency jet ventilation. We describe specific jet ventilators, as well as ventilator controls and the effects of their adjustment on patient ventilation and blood gases.

Learning objectives: High-Frequency Oscillatory Ventilation (1 hr)
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This lesson explains the rationale, indications and complications for high-frequency oscillatory ventilation. We describe specific oscillatory ventilators, as well as ventilator controls and the effects of their adjustment on patient ventilation and blood gases.

Learning objectives: Hypobaric and Hyperbaric Conditions (1 hr)
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This lesson explains the physiologic effects of severe ambient pressure. We explain the pathophysiology of hypobaric conditions, as occurring at high altitudes and hyperbaric conditions, as occurring at subterranean depths. Furthermore, we detail the etiologies, manifestations, complications and management of these conditions. The management strategies explained by the lesson include hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Learning objectives: Independent Lung Ventilation (1 hr)
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This lesson explains the rationale and indications for independent lung ventilation (ILV) and single lung ventilation. Furthermore, we describe the equipment required for these forms of ventilation, the required patient monitoring and the procedures. The procedures that are presented apply to ILV for bronchopleural fistula and unilateral lung disease with lung compliance discrepancy, respectively.

Learning objectives: Instructional Skills for Clinical Practice (1.5 hrs)
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This lesson explains the importance of instruction to clinical practice and the contexts in which instructional skills are applied. Furthermore, we explain techniques in instructional development, including; writing learning objectives, selecting instructional platforms, creating and using instructional aids and evaluating learning.

Learning objective: Interpretation of the Chest Radiograph (1 hr)
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This lesson explains production of the chest radiograph and describes artifacts that are caused by faulty radiographic techniques. Then, the lesson describes and displays normal landmarks on the chest radiograph. Chest radiographic abnormalities also are displayed and explained. These abnormalities include the cardiac silhouette sign, air bronchograms, extraneous air, pulmonary infiltrates and artifacts.

Learning objectives: Lung Clearance Techniques (2 hrs)
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This lesson describes the physiology and pathophysiology of mucociliary transport. Then, we describe both the pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic techniques for mucokinesis, including the evidence base for each. The non-pharmacologic techniques include chest physiotherapy, directed cough, vibratory positive expiratory pressure (PEP) and high-frequency percussion. We also explain the mechanisms for developing atelectasis and describe techniques for preventing and treating atelectasis, including the current evidence base. These techniques include incentive spirometry, chest physiotherapy, vibratory PEP and continuous positive airway pressure.

Learning objectives: Lung Protective Strategies (1 hr)
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This lesson explains the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of ventilator-induced lung injury, as well as preventive strategies. These strategies include: open lung ventilation; pressure-controlled inverse ratio ventilation; airway pressure release ventilation; tracheal gas insufflation; high-frequency ventilation; nitric oxide; exogenous surfactant and partial liquid ventilation.

Learning objectives: Management of Neonatal Patients (1.5 hrs)
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This lesson describes techniques and devices for the respiratory management of neonates. The therapeutics include oxygen therapy, including subambient oxygen mixtures; aerosol therapy; environmental care; airway management and continuous positive airway pressure. The lesson also provides an overview of neonatal mechanical ventilation.

Learning objective Mechanical Circulatory Support (1 hr)
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This lesson explains the rationale, indications and complications of mechanical circulatory support techniques and devices, as well as their basic circuitry and function. The devices include non-invasive ones; such as, the Cardiopumpô and the CPR vest. The invasive techniques include intra-aortic counterpulsation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, ventricular assist devices and artificial hearts.

Learning objectives: Medical Laboratory Assessment (1 hr)
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This lesson explains the implications of findings from common medical laboratory tests. Included among these tests are: the complete blood count; international normalized ratio; serum electrolytes; cardiac, liver and pancreatic enzymes; brain natriuretic peptide, lipids, glucose and proteins.

Learning objective: Neonatal Pulmonary Conditions (1 hr)
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This lesson explains the etiologies, pathophysiology, manifestations and management for the following conditions: neonatal asphyxia; respiratory distress syndrome; meconium aspiration; persistent pulmonary hypertension; transient tachypnea; apnea; iatrogenic conditions; airway anomalies and congenital abdominal anomalies.

Learning objectives: Neonatal Mechanical Ventilation (1 hr)
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This lesson explains specific requirements for mechanical ventilation consequent to anatomic and physiologic attributes of neonates. We compare the various ventilator modes and describe the adjustment and interaction of ventilator controls. Also, we describe specific ventilators that are used in neonatal ventilation. A discussion on discontinuation of mechanical ventilation concludes the lesson.

Learning objective: Neuromuscular Conditions (2 hrs)
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This lesson is a survey of common neuromuscular conditions that affect both adult and pediatric patients. For the selected conditions, the lesson details the epidemiology, pathophysiology, manifestations, diagnosis and management. These conditions include myasthenia gravis, Guillain Barre syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spinal muscle atrophy and critical illness polyneuropathy and myopathy.

Learning objectives: Non-Invasive Ventilation (2 hrs)
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This lesson explains strategies for mechanical ventilation that are applied without a tracheal tube. We examine the rationale, indications, complications and techniques for both negative and positive pressure noninvasive ventilation, including iron lungs and cuirass ventilators, as well as state-of-the-art devices for noninvasive positive pressure ventilation. The lesson describes findings from research that pertain to noninvasive ventilation.

Learning objectives:
  • Explain the rationale for noninvasive ventilation.
  • Describe the effects, indications, advantages, disadvantages and complications associated with negative pressure ventilation.
  • Describe the operation of specific negative pressure ventilators.
  • Describe the modes, effects, benefits, complications, indications and contraindications associated with noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation (NPPV).
  • Describe the evidence basis for NPPV for selected conditions.
  • Compare the interfaces used in NPPV with respect to their indications, advantages and limitations.
  • Describe the issues pertaining to types of NPPV circuits and humidification systems.
  • Compare the ventilator types and modes applied to NPPV with respect to their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Describe techniques for ventilator control adjustments for NPPV.
  • Discuss clinical issues pertaining to NPPV, including aerosol delivery, heliox, clinical sites and end-of-life care.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (1 hr)
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    The lesson details the epidemiology, risk factors and complications of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Furthermore, we explain the pathophysiology and describe the manifestations and diagnostic techniques for OSA. Management strategies for OSA that are described include CPAP, BiPAP and didgeridoo-playing.

    Learning objective: Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Case Presentations (1 hr)
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    This lesson presents thirteen cases that specifically pertain to pediatric respiratory care, with their manifestations, including chest radiographs. Each case lesson includes pertinent teaching points.

    Learning objective: Pediatric Conditions (1.5 hrs)
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    This lesson describes the etiologies, manifestations and management of selected conditions found in pediatric patients. Specific conditions included here are: central nervous system disorders; neuromuscular disorders; upper airway obstruction; inhalation injury; poisoning and trauma.

    Learning objective:

    Perinatal Monitoring (1 hr)
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    This lesson details circumstances that suggest risks to fetuses during gestation, as well as their possible consequences. Also, we describe and explain various forms of peripartum maternal and fetal monitoring and the implications of findings from those monitors. The types of monitoring explained here include: ultrasound; fetal heart rate and biochemical markers. We also describe problems; such as, breech presentation, placental/umbilical abnormalities and pre-eclampsia.

    Learning objectives: Preventing Medical Errors Part 1: Ethical and Legal Issues in Clinical Practice (1 hr)
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    This lesson focuses on preventing errors in the clinical setting. It describes the occurrence and importance of clinical errors, as well as their categories. Then, the lesson uses the multifactorial and Swiss cheese constructs to explain error causation and propagation. We identify specific types of errors that occur in respiratory care practice, explaining their causes and enablers, as well as potential preventive measures. Also, we identify barriers to error prevention and the measures that can be taken at agency, institutional, departmental and individual levels to prevent clinical errors.

    Learning objectives: Preventing Medical Errors Part 2: Ethical and Legal Issues in Clinical Practice (1 hr)
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    This lesson focuses on clinical errors that are associated with medical devices, specifically those used in respiratory care practice. The lesson uses the multifactorial view of device-associated adverse events and root cause analysis for identification of contributing factors. We identify device defects, including deficient human engineering and explain the role of device misuse in adverse events. The lesson includes scenarios that depict adverse events associated with respiratory care devices, including causes, contributing factors and preventive measures. Furthermore, we describe strategies to minimize adverse events, including the responsibilities of both management and staff in this effort.

    Learning objectives: Preventing Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (1 hr)
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    This lesson describes the epidemiology, pathogenesis and risk factors for ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), including the roles of ventilators and tracheal tubes. Furthermore, we explain the diagnosis and management of VAP. Preventive measures for VAP are explained in detail.

    Learning objective: Pulmonary Function Testing Part One (1.5 hrs)
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    This lesson explains the purposes, physiologic bases and basic interpretation for pulmonary function tests that evaluate lung volumes and lung mechanics. The lung volume tests included are direct spirometric measurements, dilutional techniques for functional residual capacity and whole body plethysmography. The tests of lung mechanics include basic spirometry, flow-volume curves and airways resistance studies.

    Learning objectives: Pulmonary Function Testing Part Two (2 hrs)
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    This lesson explains the pathophysiologic principles, indications, contraindications, procedures and basic interpretation for selected pulmonary function tests. The tests included in the lesson are: diffusing capacity; bronchodilator benefit; bronchial challenge; exhaled nitric oxide analysis; preoperative assessment; disability assessment; exercise tolerance and metabolic assessment (calorimetry).

    Learning objectives: Pulmonary Vascular Disease (1 hr)
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    The primary focus of this lesson is pulmonary embolism. The lesson describes the epidemiology, the various embolic substances and risk factors. Furthermore, we explain the pathophysiology, manifestations, diagnostic techniques and management for pulmonary embolism. We also describe pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), with its etiologic and functional classifications. Then, we explain its pathophysiology, manifestations, diagnosis and management.

    Learning objective: Respiratory Care Emergency Preparedness for Mass Casualty Events (2 hrs)
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    This lesson describes the circumstances associated with mass casualty events, including disasters that are both natural and man-made. The lesson describes febrile respiratory illnesses, including bioterrorist threats, their etiologies, manifestations, management and preventive measures. The preventive measures include personal protective equipment and environmental controls. The lesson details chemical injuries from various types of agents, as well as the causes, manifestations, management and personal protection. Furthermore, we describe radiation and blast injuries, including their types, manifestations and management. We also discuss the types of natural disasters and describe the types of injuries expected in their aftermath and additional problems associated with transportation and supplies. The lesson explains the concept, surge capacity, as well as how the components of surge capacity adjust for mass casualty situations. We explain the importance of respiratory care to mass casualty events and describe specific strategies and equipment pertaining to delivery of that care in a mass casualty event. This description includes the Strategic National Stockpile System and Project Xtreme.

    Learning objectives: Respiratory Care for the Geriatric Patient (1 hr)
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    This lesson focuses on special problems associated with geriatric patients, starting with the effects of aging on the major body systems. Then, we describe the prevalent conditions among geriatric patients, including their age-specific manifestations. We explain the barriers to effective care for geriatric patients and describe accommodations that help overcome these barriers. This includes accommodations pertaining to specific respiratory therapeutics.

    Learning objectives: Respiratory Therapeutics for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (1 hr)
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    This lesson concentrates on pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), explaining its etiologic and functional classifications, as well as its development as a result of cardiac interventions. The lesson describes the manifestations of PAH and details its management, in accordance with the PAH management algorithm. We then focus on respiratory therapeutics for PAH, including inhaled nitric oxide and aerosolized medications; specifically, phosphodiesterase inhibitors and prostacyclins.

    Learning objectives: Shock (1 hr)
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    This lesson explains the etiologies, manifestations and management of shock, which is categorized as hypovolemic; distributive and cardiogenic. The management strategies we describe include specific agents used to maintain blood pressure, fluid balance and acid-base balance.

    Learning objectives: Tracheostomy Devices & Management (1.5 hrs)
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    This lesson explains the indications and rationale and complications for tracheostomies. Furthermore, we display state-of-the-art tracheostomy tubes and describe the management of tracheostomized patients, including techniques for enabling their communications.

    Learning objectives: Upper Airway Obstruction (1 hr)
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    This lesson explains the etiologies and pathophysiology of upper airway obstruction, in contrast to peripheral airway obstruction. The causes of obstruction include: aspiration; edema from various sources; anatomic abnormalities and vocal cord dysfunction. Also, we explain the manifestations, diagnosis and management strategies intended for obstruction from the various etiologic mechanisms.

    Learning objective: Weaning Adults from Mechanical Ventilation (1 hr)
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    This lesson focuses on discontinuation of mechanical ventilation for adult patients. It details and compares parameters for determining weaning readiness, as well as various weaning strategies, from an evidence-based viewpoint. We complete the lesson with a discussion on the causes for both weaning and extubation failure.

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