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Let’s give thanks for respiratory therapists | READER COMMENTARY

Jonathan Davila is greeted by his wife, Ashley King, with their 6-month-old son, Elijah, after being discharged from Elmhurst Hospital Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in Elmhurst, Ill. in suburban Chicago. Davila, 30, was among the first COVID-19, or coronavirus, patients at the hospital and spent 44 days inside, including 20-plus days intubated for respiratory failure. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)
Jonathan Davila is greeted by his wife, Ashley King, with their 6-month-old son, Elijah, after being discharged from Elmhurst Hospital Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in Elmhurst, Ill. in suburban Chicago. Davila, 30, was among the first COVID-19, or coronavirus, patients at the hospital and spent 44 days inside, including 20-plus days intubated for respiratory failure. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune) (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

In the recent article about the amazing health care workers who are treating COVID-19 patients, one very important group was left out — respiratory therapists (”As Maryland hospitals again fill with coronavirus patients, weary front-line workers push through to care for them,” Dec. 3). Not one was given the chance to highlight the important, and too often unrecognized, work they do and how hard it’s been for them.

Respiratory therapists are the people who intubate or help intubate patients depending on the facility. They are the ones who run the ventilators, who have specialized training in the pulmonary system. Respiratory therapists are often confused for nurses by a patient. They have different roles, as the therapist’s entire job is to help make someone breathe better.

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Can you imagine the toll that this pandemic is taking on them? Respiratory therapists work in the emergency room, the intensive care unit and all over the hospital. A critical care team is made up of a doctor, a nurse and a respiratory therapist. I have had the privilege to work with some amazing respiratory therapists in Maryland, the patients are lucky to have them.

These men and women are so important in health care especially during this pandemic. They should be celebrated and reminded that they are not forgotten or unseen, but highly valued and appreciated.

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Joyce Trivett, Edgewood

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