Breathing.  It’s not something people tend to think about. But when every single breath you take becomes a struggle, each breath is a reminder of your condition. The Cardiopulmonary Department at Hammond-Henry Hospital understands these struggles and is well equipped to help you manage and, in some cases, even improve your symptoms. 

What are breathing disorders?

There are two types of disorders that cause problems with air moving in and out of the lungs. 

  • Obstructive – Air has trouble flowing out of the lungs due to airway resistance.  This causes a decreased flow of air.
  • Restrictive – Lung tissue and/or chest muscles cannot expand enough.  This creates problems with airflow, mostly due to lower lung volumes. 

What are pulmonary function tests (PFTs)?

PFTs are non-invasive tests that show how well the lungs are working. The tests measure lung volume, capacity, rates of flow, and gas exchange. This information can help your healthcare provider diagnose and decide the treatment of certain lung disorders. PFTs measure various volumes and capacities of the lungs in order to assess individual values. Normal values for PFTs vary from patient to patient and are compared to the averages for someone of the same age, height, sex, and race as well as to the patient’s previous results. 

Do I need pulmonary function tests?

There are many different reasons why pulmonary function tests may be done. Sometimes healthy people have PFTs as part of a routine physical. They are also routinely done in certain types of work environments to ensure employee health. But most commonly, PFTs are performed to assist your healthcare provider in diagnosing health conditions such as:

  • Allergies
  • Respiratory infections
  • Trouble breathing from injury to the chest or a recent surgery
  • Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disorders (COPD)
  • Asthma
  • Asbestosis
  • Restrictive airway problems due to illness
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Scleroderma

The cardiopulmonary team at Hammond-Henry Hospital will develop a personalized treatment plan to meet your specific needs and goals. Our cardiopulmonary specialist will perform a medical evaluation. Then, we’ll talk with you about preventive strategies for optimal breathing and we will build a plan to suit your needs. All along the way, we will communicate with your provider throughout your rehabilitation and help you stay as independent as possible. 

In order to give you and your provider the best picture of your health, Hammond-Henry Hospital performs the following cardiopulmonary tests:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) - screening for peripheral vascular disease
  • Complete Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT) / Bronchial Challenge Testing; (testing for reactive airway disease)
  • Echocardiograms (adult and pediatric)
  • Electrocardiograms (ECG)
  • Holter Monitoring (both 24 and 48 hours)
  • 30-Day Event Monitoring
  • Segmental Blood Pressures
  • Stress Echocardiograms
  • Stress Testing (routine and pharmacological)

To help you day to day, Hammond-Henry Rehab Department offers Pulmonary Rehab.