By the President of the United States of America
Chronic obstructive lung diseases afflict an estimated 17.2 million Americans, with more than three million being disabled to a greater or lesser degree by such disorders as chronic bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema and many other serious lung diseases of known and unknown causes.
Many of these disorders are presently incurable, but often much can be done to relieve their symptoms and to enable resumption of a reasonably normal existence despite lung conditions that formerly would have made the victim a respiratory cripple. In other situations, the patient whose life is threatened by acute respiratory failure can be restored to health if the lungs can be given a temporary respite while the patient battles back from a potentially lethal injury or illness.
In the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with incapacitating or life-threatening lung diseases, the respiratory therapist frequently plays a critical role. Patients may range from a premature infant with respiratory distress syndrome, through the child with cystic fibrosis, to an elderly patient with advanced emphysema. To all, the therapist applies his skills and knowledge to relieve distressing symptoms, restore normal lung capacity, or help the patient conserve and make the best use of his remaining lung function. Therapy can lead to a complete recovery, prolong life, or make the patient's existence more comfortable.
During recent years, improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic respiratory disease have made increasingly important the contribution of the respiratory therapist in rendering the best possible care to those afflicted by these disorders.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, in accordance with Senate Joint Resolution 193, do hereby proclaim the week of November 7 through November 13, 1982, as National Respiratory Therapy Week.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 10th day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventh.