Lutana Haan and Jody Lester, associate professors for the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Respiratory Care, both gave individual presentations at the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) Congress 2016 on Oct. 15-18 in San Antonio, Texas.
Similarly, Samantha Davis, clinical assistant professor , Lonny Ashworth, director of RRT to bachelor’s degree completion program and professor, Ashlyn Krupa and VeAnn McFadden, students (all of the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Respiratory Care), presented research at the AARC Congress. Additionally, 12 of the 17 Respiratory Care juniors were able to attend the conference.
Haan presented “Optimizing Patient Communication” which focused on specific strategies the audience could use to optimize their patient interactions to better educate their patients. She also presented “The Airway: Size and Shape Matter” which emphasized how the airway changes shape over time, as well as how sleep, obesity, and genetics affect optimal performance.
Lester presented “Sleeping on the Other Side of the Bed: Spousal Involvement in CPAP Adherence” which explained continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) adherence by considering the perspectives of both the patient and their spouse. Evidence was discussed with emphasis on recommendations and implications for interventions to improve CPAP adherence. Lester also presented “Odds Are You Can Do This! Understanding the Results of Medical Studies” which used statistics from recently published medical studies to practice the interpretation of odds ratios, risk ratios, and absolute risk reduction, among other things. Last, Lester presented “Studying a Study – Using a Systematic Approach to Evaluate Medical Research” which introduced participants to the MAARIE framework – a step by step method for evaluating medical studies.
Davis, Ashworth, Krupa, and McFadden presented their research, “The Effect of Increasing Amplitude and Percent Support of Tidal Volume and Peak Pressure during Proportional Assist Ventilation.”
The students performed research by assessing a mode of mechanical ventilation, which is relatively new and not yet widely used, called Proportional Assist Ventilation (PAV+). This particular mode of ventilation is classified as a spontaneous mode, meaning the patient’s breaths are their own and not controlled exclusively by the ventilator. This mode of ventilation is often used as respiratory therapists attempt to wean patients off of the ventilator. In PAV+, the ventilator assesses the patient’s work-of-breathing and adjusts the support being provided by the ventilator proportionally to the patient’s respiratory efforts. In theory, if the patient has a strong respiratory effort then the ventilator will decrease the support it provides, but if a patient has a weak respiratory effort the ventilator will increase the support it provides. The students tested this theory using an electronic lung simulator and adjusted resistance and compliance which mimicked changes in patient effort. This study confirmed that during PAV+, the amount of support provided by the ventilator is proportional to patient effort.
Additionally, and with the help of AARC staff, Krupa’s boyfriend, Tyler Nelson, made a surprise visit to the Congress, climbed on the podium after the presentation, and asked Krupa to marry him. The AARC published a short article about the proposal in their Weekly Gazette, e-newsletter.