Updated: September 2004
Respiratory therapists will be front-line caregivers in the event of infectious biological or chemical attacks. We have prepared this list of resources to help you educate yourself about these issues.
Resources for Information
National Library of Medicine Medline Plus
This site focuses on smallpox and provides a variety of sources from the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Johns Hopkins University Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies, Department of Human Services, and more. To access information on other biological terror topics, click their index at the top of their page. Information is also available in Spanish.
- Hazmat Expert Advises Fellow RTs on Disaster Readiness
- RT Departments Get Ready for the Worst
- RT Expert Provides Basic Advice on Handling Biological, Chemical Attacks
Tom Johnson, RRT, director of the respiratory therapy program at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY, has a background in chemical biological agents of war dating back to his service in Vietnam in the late 1960s when he was assigned to teach the men under his command how to respond to a gas attack. He maintained this interest after becoming an RT in the early ’70s, and during the Gulf War of the early 1990s was charged with helping to prepare staff at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, NJ, for possible casualties resulting from chemical or biological agents used in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Last February he attended the Medical Management of Biological Casualties Course in Washington, DC.
Johnson wrote the following article for possible publication in a military history journal earlier this year and developed the PowerPoint presentations for a lecture given to the Mid-Hudson Chapter of the New York State Society for Respiratory Care. They appear here thanks in part to Long Island University, the nation’s eighth largest private university serving more than 30,000 students through 125 different educational programs.