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Respiratory Therapy Expert Witnesses

Critical insights on legal matters involving ventilation and respiratory disease

Respiratory therapy is a healthcare profession specializing in assessing, treating, and managing patients with respiratory and cardiopulmonary disorders. Respiratory therapists are trained professionals who work under the supervision of a physician to help patients with breathing difficulties caused by various medical conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, and lung cancer.

In the United States, respiratory therapists must complete an associate's or bachelor’s degree program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). Board Certification for respiratory therapists is handled by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). Some respiratory therapists have additional certifications in sub-specialties such as neonatal and pediatric respiratory care.

Respiratory therapists usually work under the supervision of pulmonologists (particularly to treat lung disease) and emergency medicine and critical care medicine specialists (to treat respiratory emergencies and respiratory failure). In some situations, a respiratory therapist may also be under the supervision of an anesthesiologist.

The role of a respiratory therapist as an expert witness

Medical malpractice cases involving a respiratory therapist may involve misdiagnosis or mismanagement of a respiratory disease. In these situations, it is often unclear how negligence should be apportioned between the respiratory therapist and the supervising physician. An experienced respiratory therapist can offer opinions on the standard of care, the proper maintenance and operation of respiratory equipment, and other matters related to patient safety to help attorneys understand what happened.

In addition, respiratory therapists can be key expert witnesses in cases involving lung injuries and exposure to toxic substances that cause respiratory conditions like COPD. They can opine on the cause and mechanism of injury, the cost of respiratory therapy, and the long-term prognosis for the patient.

The experience to help attorneys breathe easier

Legal matters involving lung disease and lung injuries are often highly complex cases. The team at Rieback Medical-Legal Consultants has been helping some of America’s finest attorneys for decades. Our network includes highly qualified, Board-Certified respiratory therapists who are available for both consultation and deposition or trial testimony. Contact us today for a free case summary review.

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