Better breathing with advanced respiratory care

If you have pulmonary problems or suffer from a chronic lung disease, Saint Vincent Hospital can help you breathe easier. Designed to improve your quality of life, services include:

  • Expert respiratory care available for adult, pediatric and neonatal patients
  • Comprehensive diagnostic testing and treatment for conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, chronic bronchitis and asthma
  • Adult outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program stressing education and monitored exercise sessions

At Saint Vincent, you have access to highly skilled inpatient and outpatient respiratory care. The hospital’s specialized respiratory team is committed to providing you with a comprehensive treatment program for a range of lung conditions and diseases. This commitment begins with your initial visit and continues through your follow-up care.

Pulmonary Laboratory

The Pulmonary Laboratory works hand in hand with Saint Vincent physicians and the community to help diagnose lung disorders. The lab works with you and your loved ones on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. Respiratory therapists and pulmonary function technologists perform the tests.

The laboratory offers a variety of state-of-the-art tests, including:

  • Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT), the primary method used to diagnose, stage and monitor various pulmonary diseases
  • Methacholine Challenge Testing, a bronchial test used to assist in the evaluation of asthma
  • High Altitude Simulation Testing, for people with COPD who either live at higher altitudes or who plan to fly on commercial airlines
  • Exercise Oximetry, to determine the need for supplemental oxygen with exercise
  • Arterial Blood Gas Sampling, which monitors the severity and progression of a pulmonary disease process
  • Electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy, which aids in the diagnosis of a wide range of lung conditions
Our Pulmonary Lab is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, please call (508) 363-3140.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program

The goal of Saint Vincent’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is to return you to daily activities, with less shortness of breath. When you are accepted into the program, you will benefit from:

  • A 7- to 10-week outpatient program
  • Education in the anatomy and physiology of the lungs, respiratory medication, stress management and nutrition
  • Monitored exercise sessions that focus on breath retraining and posture

Admission requirements for the program are:

  • A physician referral (HMO insurance first requires referral to a pulmonologist)
  • A diagnosis of COPD, chronic bronchitis, emphysema or pulmonary fibrosis
  • A pulmonary function test within the last 90 days that reveals FVC or FEV1 with less than 60% predicted value
  • A desire to participate

Pending qualification, Medicare and most insurance companies cover the cost of the required tests and rehabilitation sessions.

Your first visit will be for evaluation, paperwork and a parking permit. For this visit, free valet parking is offered at the front entrance of the hospital and you will be given a wheelchair. (The gym is located about a half-mile from the entrance.)

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Helping Your Children Manage Their Asthma

What Is Asthma and What Are the Symptoms?

659x519_WEB_Children_Asthma_HISP (1)Asthma is a respiratory disease that affects the lungs and is the most common long-term disease in children. Symptoms of asthma include:

  • Repeated episodes of wheezing
  • Breathlessness
  • Chest tightness
  • Nighttime or early morning coughing

If your child has asthma, they’ll have it all the time but will have asthma attacks only when something bothers his or her lungs.

It’s not known what causes asthma and there is no cure, but it can be controlled if you:

  • Know the warning signs of an attack.
  • Stay away from things that trigger an attack.
  • Follow the advice of your healthcare provider.

How Do You Know if Your Child Has Asthma?

Particularly in children under 5 years old, asthma can be hard to diagnose. Getting regular checkups that include checking your child’s lung function and checking for allergies can help.

If you suspect your child may have asthma, a lung function test can confirm he or she has the condition. The test measures the largest amount of air you can exhale after taking a very deep breath.

How Is Asthma Treated?

Doctors typically prescribe medicine to help treat your child’s asthma. There are a variety of methods that asthma medicines can be administered. They can be inhaled through the mouth or breathed in. Some can be taken as a pill.

There are two types of asthma medicines — quick-relief and long-term control. Quick-relief medicines control the symptoms of an asthma attack, while long-term medicines help your child have fewer and milder attacks. Long-term medicines, however, do not help during an asthma attack.

Things You Can Do to Reduce the Risk of an Asthma Attack

The following are a few things you can do to help reduce the risk of an asthma attack.

  1. Avoid outdoor air pollution — pay attention to air quality forecasts on radio and television and plan your activities for when air pollution levels will be low if air pollution aggravates your child’s asthma.
  2. Eliminate cockroaches – if you have any cockroaches in your home, take steps to get rid of them. Cockroaches and their droppings can trigger an asthma attack.
  3. Pets – furry pets can trigger asthma attacks. If you suspect your pet triggers attacks in your child and don’t want to find another home for the pet, bathe your pet weekly, keep it outside of your child’s bedroom, and vacuum often to clean up anything that could trigger an asthma attack.
  4. Mold – make sure your home is completely mold-free. Keep the humidity level in your home between 35% and 50%.
  5. Secondhand tobacco smoke – make sure your child doesn’t breathe any secondhand smoke and don’t let anyone else smoke around him or her.
  6. Dust mites – use mattress covers and pillowcase covers to create a barrier between dust mites and your child. Don’t use down-filled pillows, quilts or comforters. Remove any stuffed animals and clutter from your child’s bedroom.

By being informed and taking some precautionary steps, you can help control your child’s asthma and reduce the risk of asthma attacks.