COVID-19 was first identified late last year with a cluster of pneumonia cases caused by a new coronavirus. The COVID-19 disease process heavily affects the respiratory system, and patients often need oxygen support. The respiratory therapist plays a critical role in managing oxygen levels, placing breathing tubes, and managing the mechanical ventilator, when necessary.
On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Daniel Diedrich, a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist and critical care physician, discusses the role of the respiratory therapist from the time a patient presents with COVID-19 all the way through that patient's discharge.
Dr. Gregory Poland, a Mayo Clinic COVID-19 expert, says dogs and cats have their own set of coronaviruses that they don't really spread to humans. However, health experts are still learning a lot about COVID-19.