The respiratory system is the network of organs and tissues that help you breathe. This network includes your airways, lungs, muscles that power your lungs and blood vessels. All of these parts work together to move oxygen throughout your body and clean out waste gases such as carbon dioxide.
Perry County Health System (PCHS) offers a full range of respiratory therapy services. Working under the supervision of physicians, our respiratory therapists:
- Evaluate, assess and help to treat patients with both acute and chronic dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary system, such as emphysema, asthma and more. Respiratory therapy may include treating diseases, infections or viruses of the cardiopulmonary system, such as lung cancer, asthma, emphysema, bronchitis and pneumonia.
- Help plan, integrate, teach, evaluate and manage acute and chronic breathing disorders through the use of respirators or the administration of medication in aerosol form.
- Administer oxygen.
- Manage noninvasive positive pressure ventilation.
- Manage ventilators and artificial airway devices for patients who can't breathe normally on their own.
- Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation to heart attack patients, stroke victims and other critical patients.
- Administer drugs to the lungs.
- Monitor cardiopulmonary systems.
- Perform diagnostic tests, such as measuring lung function and capacity.
- Analyze blood samples to determine levels of oxygen and other gases.
- Counsel individuals in cardiopulmonary health (e.g., asthma education, smoking cessation, etc.).
- Educate patients and families about lung disease so they can maximize their recovery.
Pulmonary Function Testing
An important test that is completed by the Respiratory Care Department at PCHS is pulmonary function testing (PFT).
PFT is a series of painless tests ordered by your physician to measure how well your lungs work. The testing time can vary between 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the tests. PFT can help:
- Diagnose certain lung diseases, such as asthma or emphysema.
- Determine why you are short of breath or wheezing.
- Measure how severely your lungs are damaged.
- Determine appropriate treatment.
- Determine the effectiveness of your current therapy or new medications.
- Evaluate lung function before surgery.
- Monitor lung function of a person who was exposed to asbestos or other harmful environmental conditions that can damage the lungs.
- Determine if you have exercise-induced asthma.
A pulmonary function test can be scheduled by your doctor's office. If you have an order for the test from your doctor, you can call the Respiratory Care Department directly.