The mandate of the Respiratory Care Board is to protect and serve the consumer by administering and enforcing the Respiratory Care Practice Act and its regulations in the interest of the safe practice of respiratory care. Licensed Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs) regularly perform critical lifesaving and life support procedures prescribed by physicians that directly affect major organs of the body. RCPs provide care directly to the patient in either a hospital setting or the patient's home. Patients may be suffering from lung cancer, emphysema, asthma, or cystic fibrosis, or may be premature infants whose lungs have not yet fully developed. More than 26,000 RCP licenses have been issued in the State of California.