Development of a Work of Breathing Scale for Bedside Use

Dr. Raúl J. Gazmuri MD, PhD, FCCM

Professor of Medicine and Professor of Physiology & Biophysics - Rosalind Franklin University. Author of the Work of Breathing scale (WOB)

Dana Weiss

Account Manager, Author Collaboration Unit, Mapi Research Trust

A webinar presented by Dr Gazmuri, author of the Work of Breathing scale (WOB). Read more for webinar details and registration information.

About the webinar

Work of Breathing (WOB) represents the work performed by the respiratory muscles to mobilize gases in and out of the lungs ensuring that CO2 removal and O2 delivery appropriately meet systemic metabolic demands. Increased WOB is not recognized by arterial blood gas analysis (a widespread practice when assessing patients in respiratory distress) and, if untreated, risks the development of respiratory muscle fatigue leading to hypoventilation, apnea, and cardiac arrest.

The lack of a practical non-invasive bedside tool to assess WOB prompted Dr Gazmuri to develop several years back a WOB Scale to be used inside – and more recently – outside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

The WOB Scale was helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic and has proven to be a useful bedside tool to promptly identify increased WOB leading to interventions aimed at reducing respiratory load and/or instituting non-invasive or invasive support of the respiratory muscles.

Who should attend?

Healthcare providers caring for adult patients in the Emergency Department and in-hospital settings including ICU and Medical & Surgical Wards:

  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Physician assistants

What you will learn

Recognition of increased Work of Breathing (WOB) is important to timely treat underlying conditions imposing respiratory loads and/or institute respiratory muscle support. A simple WOB Scale is presented that can be used at the bedside by healthcare providers for the recognition and management of increased WOB.