If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In the sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
Or quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do

One More Light – Linkin Park

‘Together’ – Photos By Farzad

September 10th 2017 was the World Suicide Prevention Day.   While I have never had suicidal thoughts nor know someone close to me who has struggled with this issue, I will not ignore this topic.  I can recall one of my undergrad instructors discussing in a psychology lecture that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
As health care professionals we have to deal with many obstacles, stressors and frustrations.  Just as we put importance on our dietary intake, exercise and quality of sleep, we need to be aware of our mental health.

Don’t ignore the problem.  Talk to trusted friends, family members and colleagues.  Seek professional help.

For more information visit Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention

-Farzad ‘Raffi’ Refahi  September 19, 2017

Dedicated to Chester Bennington (Mar 20 1976 – Jul 20, 2017)


A Sunny Saturday

Today is Saturday Sep 16, 2017 around noon.  It is a beautiful sunny day with temperatures around 24 C ( 75 F).  Great day to be out, and to make most of it.  I would like to send a quick thank you to all the hard working Respiratory Therapists, Nurses, Healthcare Professionals, Police Officers, Firefighters and other essential personnel who are at work right now.


Farzad Raffi Refahi


Larry King and Lung Health

Larry King is an ex-smoker who had an early detection because of his routine check up.
H was “diagnosed with stage 1 Adenocarcinoma, the most common type of lung cancer, through a routine chest examination.” – Reported byCNN (Lisa R France Sep14, 2017)

This is a good reminder to motivate your patients to attend their annual checks ups and appointments.  

Let’s aim :To monitor, to have an early detection, to offer more treatment options, and to provided have a better patient care.

For more details check out CNN’s article at

Farzad ‘Raffi’ Refahi

Sep 15, 2017


Independent PFT lab

Lessons learned from Universal Pulmonary Function Lab.

I began working at Universal Pulmonary Function Lab slightly more than 2 years ago.  The lab was without a technician or RT for weeks before I was hired (to work as once a week [sole] operator.  The learning came from the challenges of working without having a prior training to their equipment, protocols and patient flow.  Here are my top learnings from that experience:

1.    Becoming resourceful.
Regardless of the amount of training you receive at the beginning of your job, the RT/Technician/Operator has no option than to quickly seek and utilize resources.  I stayed in touch with the amazing lead respirologists, Dr. A. Born.  I sought the advice of my PFT mentor Mr. Bernie Ho.  I discussed my issues with colleagues at the other PFT lab I was working at the time (Ms. Sylvia).  I accessed printed manual for the equipment and the online guidelines at ATS/CTC/ERS websites.   When put in situations like this, we have our school notes, textbook, previous instructors/preceptors, online guidelines, conferences and forums.   I am proud to say that under the supervision of Dr. A. Born, this lab holds and operates at a very high standard.

2.    The power of Body Language
Toronto is a great city painted with multiculturalism.  On regular basis, I would have elder individuals who could not understand English.  The ability to simplify and summarize instructions and to deliver it verbally, vocally and through body language is a useful skill I had to develop.   While PFT involves many small steps with many technical aspects, learn to simplify it for your patients.  It will require more attention and care but your patients will notice your effort and will appreciate it! It is all about patient-focused care after all.

3.    Independence
As a sole operator of a lab, there is only the RT/Tech, the patient and the secretary.  Doing PFTs in hospitals includes a variety of healthcare providers who you rely on or call on, if needed.   Monitor your patients throughout the test.  Some patient are not good evaluators of their symptoms.  Identify early signs of fatigue, dyspnea and vertigo.  Be aware and be prepared.

I leave this independent lab knowing that my replacement is also a dedicated and driven individual who will look at the lab and the patients.

Farzad Raffi Refahi RRT


Marijuana sale in Ontario

“The Ontario government has announced a framework to manage the sale and use of marijuana…”- CBC News

I am posting this not to support nor to oppose this topic but to simply share the latest developments. Soon, it may be easier or more acceptaple to ask about patients’ cannabis use along with the [tobacco] smoking history.  

For the full news article please visit: