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Our Respiratory department provides an array of tests and therapies to help our patients improve their ability to breathe more comfortably. Our respiratory therapists are a group of competent, caring professionals who work with many people throughout the hospital.

What types of people do respiratory therapists assist?

  • People of all ages: preterm babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, children and young adults, as well as the elderly and disabled.
  • Individuals who have diseases pertaining to the lungs: COPD, Cystic Fibrosis, Emphysema, Asthma, Pulmonary Fibrosis.
  • People who have acute lung problems: bronchitis, pneumonia, bronchiectasis, RSV, lung cancer, and many others.

What do respiratory therapists do?

  • Manage ventilators and artificial airway devices for patients who are unable to maintain normal breathing. This includes consulting with physicians to recommend a change in therapy, based on the evaluation of the patient.
  • Respond to all Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation's (CPR), Trauma's and are members of the Rapid Response Team.
  • Educate patients and families about lung disease to maximize recovery.
  • Administer aerosolized medications to help alleviate breathing problems and prevent respiratory infections.
  • Operate and maintain equipment to administer oxygen or assist with breathing.
  • Monitor and manage therapy that will help a patient recover lung function.
  • Perform diagnostic testing such as Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT's) to assess lung volumes and strength, which enables physicians to recommend further treatment for the patient.

To learn more about lung disease, check out the American Lung association’s page at wvw.lungusa.org

For more information, call the Saint Francis Medical Center, Respiratory Care Department at (308) 398-5644.