Respiratory Care Services
Respiratory Care at Meadville Medical Center
A dedicated team of 21 respiratory therapists provides services at Meadville
Medical Center (MMC). The department is located at the Liberty St. facility,
on the ground floor, near the Cardiac Care Department. The staff is available
24 hours a day, seven days a week for inpatients, and Monday through Friday
from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for outpatient services.
Respiratory care practitioners provide:
- Administration of aerosolized medications
- Bronchopulmonary hygiene
- Oxygen therapy
- Ventilator support
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
- Invasive cardiac testing
- Arterial blood gas analysis
- Complete pulmonary function testing
- Pulmonary rehabilitation
Spirometry With / Without Bronchodilators
Spirometry is a simple lung function test that measures the amount of air
that can be forcibly exhaled after a deep breath and the amount of time
required to forcibly exhale that breath. Spirometry can help in the diagnosis
of lung diseases such as Emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, and restrictive
Additionally, the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA)
requires all employees who wear respirators to have regular spirometry
tests performed. All patients must be scheduled for testing. Patients
should not smoke or use inhaled bronchodilators for four hours prior to
the test. Basic spirometry will be performed first and then a protocol
will be followed to determine the need for bronchodilators unless specified
by the physician.
Lung Volumes & Diffusion Capacity
These tests provide more information regarding lung function and will be
preformed according to protocol based on the spirometry results, unless
specified by the ordering physician.
Pulmonary Stress Test with Oximetry
Pulmonary stress tests combine a regular stress test with a pulse oximeter
to measure oxygen levels. This test will help determine what your exercise
capacity is, related heart or lung problems and determine the need for
oxygen while exercising. An arterial blood gas may also be performed before
and during exercise.
Pulmonary Stress Test with Spirometry
This pulmonary stress test is used to diagnose exercise-induced asthma.
First, spirometry is preformed, followed by an exercise stress test—walking
on a treadmill. Then, spirometry is preformed at timed intervals to determine
your response to the exercise. Bronchodilators are given if indicated.
These tests must be scheduled in the Cardiac Care Department.
The 6 minute walk test measures the distance a patient can walk quickly
on a flat, hard surface in 6 minutes and reflects their ability to perform
daily physical activities. This test is performed on outpatient’s
and done within our Pulmonary Lab.
Bronchial Provocation Test with Methacholine (Methacholine Challenge Test)
This is a test to diagnose bronchial airway hyperactivity in subjects who
do not have clinically apparent asthma but have chronic cough, recurrent
respiratory infections or a history of wheezing without objective clinical
documentation. The test should not be performed during pregnancy or on
nursing mothers, during or within six weeks of a respiratory infection,
on children under five years of age and on persons with clinically apparent
asthma. The bronchial provocation test is an outpatient procedure and
is scheduled in the pulmonary lab. It is administered by a respiratory
therapist, and a physician is readily available in the event of any problems
or concerns. A bronchial provocation test takes about an hour.
Arterial Blood Gas
Arterial blood gas is an invasive procedure for assessment of oxygenation
of arterial blood and the blood's acid-base balance. Outpatient arterial
blood gases are performed in the phlebotomy room at Liberty Street by
a respiratory therapist Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
You must register at the Registration Department and the respiratory therapist
will then be paged.
Bronchoscopy is indicated in the assessment of airway anatomy, removal
of foreign bodies, determination of the origin of hemoptysis and biopsy
of accessible lesions. The procedure is performed by a physician, on inpatients
and outpatients. A nurse and respiratory therapist are present during
the procedure, which lasts about an hour and which may take place in the
radiology department, procedure room or surgery. As an outpatient, the
patient will be admitted to a patient room the morning of the procedure
and will return to the room for about two hours after the procedure.
Outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs
Breathing Easy Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is held each
Tuesday and Thursday over 9 weeks for a total of 18 sessions lasting 2
hours each. The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is the second program to be certified
in the state of Pennsylvania by the American Association of Cardiovascular
and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
We were also involved in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial research
project and now are a satellite facility for the University of Pittsburgh
Medical Center lung volume reduction surgery program providing rehabilitation
for patients both before and after surgery.
Emotional support is considered an important part of pulmonary rehabilitation.
Spouses, family members or other support people are encouraged to participate.
Prior to entering the program, each patient will be individually evaluated
to determine the need for diagnostic testing. A physician referral is
needed and most insurance carriers cover the program.