Pulmonary Services at Community Howard Regional Health are provided by Dr. James Downing and Dr. Chris Bahler of Kokomo Pulmonary and are accessible to all physicians. Under the direction of a physician, the Respiratory Care Department is responsible for providing the services requested.
Services provided can be placed in two classifications: diagnostic and therapeutic.
Pulmonary function testing
This breathing test assists the physician in determining the patient's ability to inhale and exhale, how well the oxygen entering the lungs can be absorbed in the blood and how much air is in the lungs. Another test offered can assist in diagnosing if a patient has asthma. Although these tests are routinely performed Monday through Friday, they can be performed on any day.
Arterial blood gas/Carboxyhemoglobin analysis
These tests assist the physician in determining the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. To determine if a patient has carbon monoxide in their blood, a physician would request a carboxyhemoglobin measurement.
A probe is typically placed over a patient's fingernail bed and sends waves of light through the finger to a receiver on the other side of the finger. Depending upon how much of the light is picked up by the receiver, it is possible to determine how well the patient's blood is saturated with oxygen. This measurement is done non-invasively, in other words, a sample of the patient's blood is not needed for this measurement.
Various devices (nasal cannulas, masks) are used to assist patients with providing additional oxygen for patients with lower levels of oxygen in the blood than desired or to help decrease their work of breathing or work of the heart.
Aerosol medication therapy
Various medications can be inhaled into the lungs to assist in relaxing the smooth muscles that line the airways or to assist in helping patients cough up mucus.
Occasionally, patients need help with their breathing. When patient have to work too hard to breathe or are unable to get enough oxygen in or carbon dioxide out, the ventilator can sometimes provide the time they need to recover from their illness or injury.
Various therapies are used to assist patient with either deep breathing or mucus removal. Post-operative patients sometimes have difficulty breathing deep enough to keep them from developing pneumonia and we assist them with an incentive spirometer. Some patient cannot cough up mucus easily, so we lightly percuss or clap on their back to help mobilize their secretions.
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. Many patients that either are suspected or have Obstructive Sleep Apnea today are using their therapy at home to help them sleep better at night. The positive pressure helps keep their upper airway open, reducing or eliminating their snoring, and therefore enables them to sleep more soundly. We also use this at times to help them be able to get more oxygen in their blood and can at times keep them from needing a ventilator.
Contact pulmonary services
For more information, please contact us at 765-865-6600.