Respiratory therapy is the assessment and treatment of patients with both acute and chronic dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary system. Columbia Memorial Hospital’s (CMH) respiratory therapy team provides diagnostic testing that helps your primary care provider or specialist evaluate the health of your heart and/or lungs.
CMH Respiratory Therapy diagnostic services include:
CMH’s respiratory therapists work on an out-patient basis, as well provide care to those patients in the Emergency Department and all hospital units 24-hours a day and seven days a week. All therapists are certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Neonatal Resuscitation.
Please be aware that some health insurance carriers require pre-authorization for diagnostic tests. Please contact your health insurance company to ask about your coverage. For questions about billing, please contact Patient Financial Services. Our compassionate financial counselors can help you with price estimates, payment arrangements, financial assistance and more.
Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) click to open
Pulmonary function tests (also called PFTs or lung function tests) help determine how well your lungs are working. This test tells your medical provider how much air your lungs can hold, how quickly you can move air into and out of your lungs, and how well your lungs are able to use oxygen and eliminate carbon dioxide. Results of your PFT will help your medical provider determine if you have a lung disease, how advanced your lung disease is, and how well the treatment for your lung disease is working.
During a (PFT) you will usually be asked to wear a nose clip to make sure that no air passes through your nose during the test. You will then be asked to breathe into a mouthpiece connected to a machine called a spirometer. The respiratory therapist may encourage you to breathe deeply during parts of the test to get the best results.
When Stop Using Before Test
|Advair®||fluticasone and salmeterol||24 Hours|
|Anora®||umeclidinium and vilanterol||24 Hours|
|Breo®||fluticasone and vilanterol||24 Hours|
|Combivent®||albuterol and ipratropium||6 Hours|
|Dulera®||mometasone and formoterol||24 Hours|
|DuoNeb®||albuterol and ipratropium||6 Hours|
|Symbicort®||budesonide and formoterol||24 Hours|
|Ventolin HFA® ProAir®||albuterol||4-6 Hours|
Because the test involves some forced and rapid breathing, you may have some temporary shortness of breath or lightheadedness. During the test you breathe through a tight-fitting mouthpiece, using a nose clip. The respiratory therapist will work with you to make you as comfortable as possible during your test.
If you need spirometry testing only, the test will take 20-30 minutes. If you need bronchospasm evaluation testing, it takes about an hour. If you need a complete PFT, please plan on it lasting from 1 to 1.5 hours. Methacholine challenge testing takes from 1.5-2 hours to complete.
The results of your test are reviewed by a pulmonologist and then are forwarded to your medical provider.
Heart Monitoring click to open
We track your heartbeat for a short time (usually for 24-48 hours) during daily life using a Holter monitor. The monitor records your heart’s rhythm through electrodes (small stickers attached to the monitor by wires) that are placed on your chest. This test helps show how your heart responds to normal activity or to certain medications.
There are many reasons your doctor may order this test, including:
There is no special preparation for this test. You will not be able to take a shower or bath while wearing the monitor, so you should do so prior to having the monitor placed. Having clean skin will help the electrodes stay on until the test is complete.
When you arrive for the test, be certain to bring the list of medications that you are currently taking. You may eat and drink prior to the test, with the exception of any restrictions as noted by your health provider. Wear comfortable clothing such as a button-down shirt or blouse to make setup of the monitor easier and prevent electrodes from becoming loose.
Electrodes (small stickers attached to the monitor by wires) will be stuck to your chest. This is painless. You will be told what to do if any of the electrodes loosen or fall off during the test. The electrodes are attached with wires to a portable, battery-operated monitor. The monitor is worn in a pouch, which might be on a strap around your waist, shoulder, or neck. While wearing the monitor, continue to go about your daily activities in your usual way. You will be asked to keep a diary of your activity, medicines, and symptoms while wearing the monitor. It is important to keep the monitor dry.
Cardiac Event Monitor click to open
A Cardiac Event Monitor is a battery-powered portable device that is used to record your heart during symptoms, and it may also automatically record if your heart experiences abnormal activity. The monitor automatically transmits the heart’s recording to a receiving center where a certified cardiac technician reviews it for serious or critical criteria and reports the results to the cardiologist at CMH. A cardiac event recorder may be ordered by your doctor when you experience symptoms infrequently or not at all. An event monitor is for long-term monitoring, up to 30 days.
You will be told how, where and when to wear the event monitor. Electrodes (small stickers attached to the monitor by wires) will be adhered to your chest. This is painless. Starting with clean skin will help the electrodes stick; however, you will be told what to do if any of the electrodes loosen or fall off during the test.
The electrodes are attached with wires to a portable, battery-operated monitor. The monitor is worn in a pouch, which might be on a strap around your waist, shoulder, or neck. While wearing the monitor, continue to go about your daily activities in your usual way. You will be asked to keep a diary of your activity, medicines, and symptoms while wearing the monitor. It is important to keep the monitor dry.
You may remove the monitor to shower. Follow the instructions given to you by the technician regarding electrode placement, changing electrodes, daily care of the monitor, and returning instructions.
In the main hospital, near the Chapel, accessed through the north or east entrances
Open for diagnostic services 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday
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