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Respiratory Therapy in TV and Movies.

Posted Sep 11 2008 8:42pm
Have you ever caught yourself watching a movie or TV show, where there are hospital scenes, looking for respiratory related things in the show? Finding something done correctly is hard to do. What got me on to this idea? Well I was watching the movie with Billy Bob Thorton called "Astronaut Farmer" and there is a part where he ends up pretty injured and in the hospital supposedly on life support. Looking a little closer in the scene I notice that he is connected via endotracheal tube to a Vision Bipap and with a closer shot he is on a t-piece connected to that Bipap. Finally the scene pans out and I notice there is a Puritan Bennet 840 Ventilator on the other side of the bed with NOTHING connected to it, now granted the average person will not notice these things but Us as RT's should notice these things. So yes this is what has me thinking where have I scene RT issues in movies and TV shows and what better way to get this going but to start a list.

My List to Respiratory Therapy things in Movies and TV shows
  1. Astronaut Farmer - Billy Bob Thorton connected to Vision Bipap with a T-Piece and a PB 840 Ventilator next to the other side of the bed.
  2. ER - Many shows the yell "Page Respiratory", but you never see them. The Doc's bag the patient then they either die or move off to O.R.
  3. Sopranos - Tony's nephew Chris is in the hospital and a Incentive Spirometer is on the bedside, and there is a Episode where Uncle Junior gets fitted for a CPAP machine for his sleep apnea, and a scene he falls asleep and his girlfriend puts in on him. I'm actually impressed here, to items you wouldn't think directors would think of for a show.
  4. Sherlock Holmes Returns (TV) - on there is a film credit for Peter Kelamis as the Respiratory Therapist. This I came across in a google search, click on the link to see, never actually saw the show but now I'm curious.
  5. Million Dollar Baby - Hillary Swank's character Maggy Fitzgerald is shown talking, while she is being ventilated via a tracheostomy tube in her throat. Although people can talk using " fenestrated" tracheostomy tubes, they can't be ventilated at the same time. But then again how many people actually know this.

Anyways I'm sure there are many others out there, I know I have seen a show/movie where the MA-1 ventilator in the corner breathing away and the patient is sitting there talking with a cannula on. I think there is a shock factor of the bellows moving and the sound of, shuuuuhahhhshuuuuhahhhh. I will continue to explore this RT related issue on the silver screen and would appreciate any noticeable scenes anyone else might have seen. Maybe somehow I could become a consultant for Respiratory Therapy on upcoming movies and TV shows, I would love to show the proper way to do mouth to mouth to Halle Berry or Jessica Alba and check some lung sounds, hell I'll even do a EKG on them. Could happen right?

Talk care and keep breathing.

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