Asthma

Asthma is a disease that affects the lungs, making it hard to breath. Asthma is considered a chronic (long-lasting) condition that often begins in childhood. The cause of asthma is unknown.

Asthma is not a contagious disease. In an asthma attack, symptoms can come on very suddenly and might last for a few minutes or a few days. The most common symptoms of an “asthma attack” include wheezing, labored breathing, coughing and tightness of the chest. Sometimes, the only symptom is a constant cough. The symptoms can be very mild or very severe, even life threatening.

An asthma attack occurs when the bronchial tubes become swollen and produce too much mucus. Bronchial tubes are the passages that carry air into and out of your lungs. Swelling makes the air passages smaller so breathing produces a wheezing or whistling sound. The extra mucus in the lungs causes the cough.

Asthma attacks can be triggered by allergies to pollen, mold spores, animal hair, feathers, and dust mites. Irritants such as tobacco smoke, chemicals, pollution or other irritants can also trigger asthma. Exercise can be a trigger for an asthma attack, but a person with asthma should not stop exercising. Taking asthma medicine before vigorous exercise may prevent an attack.

Exposure to cold air can also trigger an asthma attack. If cold air triggers an asthma attack, wearing a scarf, ski mask or face mask may help.

If allergies or irritants trigger your asthma attacks, your goal will be to limit the exposure to those triggers. Air conditioners and high-efficiency furnace filters will help reduce the pollen, animal dander or dust in the air. Special bed and pillow coverings can decrease the exposure to dust mites.

Tobacco smoke is a common trigger of asthma attacks. If you smoke, quit. If you have friends and family that smoke, ask them to not smoke near you. Other triggers include stress, a cold or the flu, and some drugs. Sometimes the cause of asthma attacks is unknown.

Asthma symptoms often develop gradually, with asthma attacks getting worse over time. Talk to your health care provider if you have any of these signs of asthma:

  • Cough - A cough may be the first and sometimes the only symptom of asthma. The cough may get worse at night, with exercise or after being outside in the cold.
  • Wheezing - Wheezing is a high pitched whistling noise mad while breathing. It could be only while breathing in, while breathing out, or both.
  • Difficulty breathing - A faster breathing rate, having a hard time getting air, use of pursed lips, or having a hard time talking.
  • Chest Tightness - The chest hurts, or it is hard to take a breath in.

Your asthma is under control if:

  1. You use your rescue inhaler less than two times per week.
  2. You do not experience nighttime asthma symptoms more than two times per month.
  3. You do not use more than two canisters of rescue inhaler per year.

Your health care provider can use a variety of tests to determine what is triggering your asthma attacks. These might include a complete physical exam, allergy and breathing tests, and x-rays. To control your asthma attacks, your health care provider might prescribe medicines and might recommend changes in your activities and lifestyle.

Most of all, work closely with your health care provider. He or she will help you find your triggers and help you treat or prevent your asthma attacks. There is no cure for asthma, but, with proper care and with help from your health care provider, the symptoms of your asthma can be controlled or prevented.

People with asthma can have normal, active and happy lives. The more you know about asthma, the more you’ll be able to help control the symptoms of asthma. The American Lung Association is a good source of information at 800.586.4872 or lungusa.org.

 

Asthma in Children

Among American children, asthma is the most common cause of chronic illness and sick days from school. Asthma is a chronic (long-lasting) condition that affects between five and ten percent of children younger than 15. Childhood asthma is twice as common in boys as in girls, and about half the time, asthma appears before age 10.

Asthma is not a contagious disease. In an asthma attack, symptoms can come on very suddenly and might last for a few minutes or a few days. The most common symptoms of an “asthma attack” include wheezing, labored breathing, coughing and tightness of the chest. Sometimes, the only symptom is a constant cough. The symptoms can be very mild or very severe, even life threatening.

An asthma attack occurs when the bronchial tubes become swollen and produce too much mucus. Bronchial tubes are the passages that carry air into and out of your lungs. Swelling makes the air passages smaller so breathing produces a wheezing or whistling sound. The extra mucus in the lungs causes your child to cough.

Asthma attacks can be triggered by allergies to pollen, mold spores, animal hair, feathers, and dust mites. Irritants such as tobacco smoke, chemicals, pollution or other irritants can also trigger asthma. Exercise can be a trigger for an asthma attack, but a child with asthma should not stop exercising. Taking asthma medicine before vigorous exercise may prevent an attack.

Exposure to cold air can also trigger an asthma attack. If cold air triggers your child’s asthma attacks, wearing a scarf, ski mask or facemask will help.

If allergies or irritants trigger your child’s asthma attacks, your goal will be to limit the child’s exposure to those triggers. Air conditioners and high-efficiency furnace filters will help reduce the pollen, animal dander or dust in the air. Special bed and pillow coverings can decrease the exposure to dust mites.

Tobacco smoke is a common trigger of asthma attacks. If you smoke, quit—for your child’s sake and your own. Other triggers include stress, a cold or the flu, and some drugs. Sometimes, and for some children, the cause of asthma attacks is unknown.

Asthma symptoms often develop gradually, with asthma attacks getting worse over time. Talk to your health care provider if your child shows any of these signs of asthma:

  • Cough - A cough may be the first and sometimes the only symptom of asthma. The Cough may get worse at night, with running or playing, after exercise or after being outside in the cold.
  • Wheezing - Wheezing is a high pitched whistling noise mad while breathing. It could be only while breathing in, while breathing out, or both.
  • Difficulty breathing - Watch for a faster breathing rate, having a hard time getting air, use of pursed lips, or having a hard time talking. Young children may also show retractions (sucking in of the chest skin) or nasal flares when breathing. Young children may also make grunting sounds with breathing.
  • Chest Tightness - The chest hurts, or it is hard to take a breath in.
  • Decreased Activity - A child not feeling well from asthma may not participate in normal activities. They may sit instead of playing with friends. Watch for restlessness and irritability.

Your child’s asthma is under control if:

  1. Your child uses a rescue inhaler less than two times per week.
  2. Your child does not experience nighttime asthma symptoms more than two times per month.
  3. Your child does not use more than two canisters of rescue inhaler per year.

Your health care provider can use a variety of tests to determine what is triggering your child’s asthma attacks. These might include a complete physical exam, allergy and breathing tests, and x-rays. To control your child’s asthma attacks, your health care provider might prescribe medicines and might recommend changes in your child’s activities and lifestyle.

Most of all, work closely with your child’s health care provider. He or she will help you find the triggers of your child’s asthma and help you treat or prevent your child’s asthma attacks. There is no cure for asthma, but, with proper care and with help from your health care provider, the symptoms of your child’s asthma can be controlled or prevented.

Children with asthma can have normal, active and happy lives. The more you know about asthma, the more you’ll be able to help your child control the symptoms of asthma. The American Lung Association is a good source of information at 800.586.4872 or lungusa.org.

Asthma Medications

When you have asthma, there are three main things that happen inside your lungs – bronchospasm, increased mucous build up and inflammation.  Bronchospasm is the tightening of the muscles surrounding the airways.  Increased mucous build up comes from over secretion of thick, sticky mucous from the inside airway surfaces.  Inflammation is the swelling or irritation of the airways.  Bronchospasm, mucous over secretion and inflammation together cause the airways to narrow resulting in wheezing, chest tightness, cough and shortness of breath. 

Asthma medications are used to prevent and control asthma symptoms.  These medications reduce the inflammation, mucous over secretion and constriction caused by asthma flare-ups.  There are two categories of asthma medications.  They are called:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications or controllers
  • Bronchodilators or relievers (rescue)

Anti-inflammatory medications are taken daily to help prevent and reduce swelling and mucous over secretion in the airways.  They work by reducing and preventing airway inflammation, swelling and mucus. They must be used regularly and should be given even if you do not have symptoms.  The medicines make it less likely that another episode will occur.

Bronchodilators, or relievers, are used when you have chest tightness; wheezing or coughing associated with an asthma flare-up.  These medications relax the muscles of the airways.  This makes it easier to breathe.  They are used only when needed, and rarely on a regular basis (unless the asthma is under poor control). It is important to use a spacer with your inhaler in order to help more medicine get into your lungs.  

There is a lot of research surrounding asthma in both children and adults.  As a result of that research, we are learning more about why asthma occurs.  With this research comes new products and treatments, which will provide help to people who currently suffer from asthma.

Asthma Triggers

Asthma is a serious lung disease. When an asthma attack occurs, the breathing tubes constrict, making it difficult for the person to breathe. When asthma is not well controlled, it can cause many problems. One of the most effective ways to prevent an asthma attack is to identify your triggers and avoid them.

 

Type of Trigger
Description Prevention Strategies
Pollen Pollen counts are higher on windy days and during certain times of the year
  • Trees, grasses and weeds
  • Pollen in the air
  • Keep windows closed on windy days
  • Use air conditioning when possible
  • Do not hang laundry outside to dry
Molds/Mildew
  • Common in dark damp places such as basements and bathrooms
  • Air conditioning or certain heating units can circulate mold if they are not cleaned properly
  • Keep humidity at 35% to 50%. Use a dehumidifier if needed
  • Do not use a humidifier
  • Remove houseplants from the bedroom
  • Keep bathrooms, kitchens and basements well aired
  • Avoid locating family room and bedrooms in basements
  • Keep shower area and curtain free of mildew
  • Clean moldy surfaces with a cleaner that has bleach in it
  • Fix leaky pipes and faucets to prevent mold and mildew
Dander
  • Animals shed small flakes of skin
  • It can also come from furniture carpets toys and bedding
  • Remove the animal from the home
  • Avoid visits to homes with pets
  • Close air ducts in the bedroom
  • Keep bedroom door closed
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter
 Dust Mites
  •  Can be present anywhere there is house dust including furniture, decorations, toys, rugs and bedding
  • Encase bedding with special cases
  • Avoid sleeping on upholstered furniture
  • Wash sheets and blankets weekly in hot water (a temperature of 130 degrees is needed to kill dust mites)
  • Use a HEPA filter
  • Use a dehumidifier
  • Vacuum and dust with a wet rag once a week.
    • If you have asthma, try to get someone else to vacuum for you or use a dust mask
    • Stay out of the rooms while they are being vacuumed and for a short while afterward
    • Use a microfilter vacuum bag or a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter
 Smoke
  • First and second hand smoke from cigarettes and cigars can be triggers
  • Smoke can come from fireplaces, cigarettes, pipes, wood burners, campfires and candles
  • Avoid anything that emits smoke
  • Do not smoke or allow smoking in the home
  • Use a HEPA filter
 Weather
  • Cold air and wind
  • High humidity
  • Air pollution
  • Cover nose and mouth on cold windy days
  • Use air conditioning on humid days
  • Watch weather reports and plan activities accordingly
 Viruses, Colds and Infections  
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Get a flu shot
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • Avoid places people frequently go when they are sick
Odors and Sprays 
  • Strong cleaning solutions
  • Perfumes
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Air Fresheners
  • Scented cand
  • Do not use room deodorizers
  • Use an exhaust fan in the kitchen
  • Use unscented products when they are available
 Other Triggers
  • Food Allergies
  • Emotions or stress
  • Exercise
  • Avoid specific foods, read labels for ingredients
  • Utilized stress management techniques
  • Follow exercised induced asthma prevention guidelines

 

For people with asthma, allergens and irritants can inflame already sensitive areas in the lungs. This can lead to spasms of the bronchial tubes causing an asthma attack.

As you can see from the lists above, triggers can be everywhere. The key to effectively managing asthma is to recognize your triggers and to take steps to avoid them. Take note of your surroundings at the time of a reaction and record them in a journal or simply write them down. Most likely this information will help reveal a pattern to the asthma episodes. Once you identify what triggers your asthma, you and your doctor can develop a plan to avoid these things. Although it may be impossible to eliminate all allergens and irritants from your home, you can minimize their number. Another source of information, as you purchase products is to look for products that are certified as “asthma friendly.”


Products that carry this certification have been scientifically tested and are suitable for people with asthma and allergies. It is present on air cleaners, bedding, cleaning products, floor coverings, stuffed toys, vacuum cleaners and washing machines. For more information on the web, go to asthmaandallergyfriendly.com.

Exercising with Asthma

Exercise-induced asthma, or EIA, is one of the most common conditions among active children, adolescents and young adults. However, that doesn’t mean that they should stop being active.

Exercise-induced asthma is a temporary narrowing of the airways brought on by strenuous exercise. Fifty percent of people with hay fever and 10% of normal athletes have developed EIA. However, there are things these people can do to control these attacks.

Vigorous exercise increases breathing, which requires more oxygen. This causes cooling and drying of the airway. Eighty to ninety percent of asthmatics have difficulty breathing with vigorous exercise. Those with asthma have hypersensitive, or twitchy airways. When coming in contact with certain things (i.e. low humidity, fatigue, emotional stress, inhaled allergens, changes in airway temperature, and cold, dry air), the airways contract or tighten and become swollen. The swelling may close some of the air passages causing air to be trapped. In order to protect the airway, more mucus is produced. The mucus becomes thicker, which causes severe coughing and more irritation to the airways. This reaction gets out of control and may cause the following symptoms: shortness of breath with exercise, wheezing, chest tightness, dizziness, and stomach problems. An inhaler is given to relax the muscles of the airway and restore normal breathing.

There are three stages of EIA: an early phase, a refractory phase, or grace period, and a late phase. The early stage is the most severe. EIA occurs during the first six to eight minutes of vigorous exercise and lasts 30-60 minutes before ending on its own. The refractory phase next where little or no tightening of the airways occurs during exercise. Athletes should take advantage of this period so that they can compete without any problems. This phase occurs in about half of those with EIA. The late phase is the least severe and may not even occur in some people.

Several steps people can take to decrease the effects of EIA:

  • Avoid environmental factors such as inhaled allergens (dust, pollens, animals, smoke, and air pollutants) and cold, dry air.
  • Continue to exercise on a regular basis.
  • Allow a warm-up and cool-down period of 10-15 minutes when exercising.
  • Avoid exercise if symptoms are present before exercise.
  • Slowly increase the intensity of workouts.
  • Participate in sports that are well tolerated for those with EIA, such as: football, downhill skiing, tennis, baseball, volleyball, wrestling, short distance track and field events, golfing, and gymnastics. Swimming is the most effective because breathing warm, moist air can completely or partially prevent EIA.

EIA should not affect an athlete’s performance if the right medication is taken. Inhalers used to control asthma can be short acting or long acting.

Short-acting inhalers are taken during an asthma attack because they work within five minutes and usually last one to two hours. They have been effective in 80-95% of patients. Long-acting inhalers work within 20-25 minutes, but must be taken four hours before exercise to work the best.

When used 30 minutes before exercise, long acting inhalers can last up to 10-12 hours. If a long-acting inhaler is used, however, a short-acting inhaler should be carried along to stop an asthma attack.

The bottom line is athletes suffering from exercise-induced asthma should continue to exercise on regular basis. Wheezing that results from EIA is usually not severe and clears after a short time. If more severe wheezing occurs, it usually indicates poorly controlled underlying asthma. If proper precautions are taken and medications are used correctly, the athlete will be able to compete at their highest level with minimum difficulties.

Preparing for School and Travel

Children with asthma don’t have to miss out on school and travel opportunities. With a little preparation and planning, children can manage their asthma when away from home.

Parents need to anticipate their child’s needs for management of asthma in the school or vacation setting.  

Visit your health care provider before school starts.  Use this visit to get prescriptions for medication and delivery devices your child will need at school.  Have the health care provider update your child’s written action plan to include a signed physician guideline for inhaler or nebulizer use.  If there are any restrictions to the child’s activity, that should be indicated as well.  Most schools have a form that you can use or your physician may have a pre-printed form to assist with this communication.

Visit school or daycare to discuss your child’s asthma.  Meet with anyone who needs to know about your child’s asthma, such as teachers, school nurse, office assistants, lunchroom staff, playground staff and/or gym teachers.  Complete the necessary forms required at school.  Have emergency contact number on file.  Include information on how your child may describe his or her asthma symptoms.  Provide the written plan of action from the health care provider.  

It is important that each asthmatic student have a rescue inhaler available for use at school.  An inhaler with a counter is especially handy for school to use to easily identify when the inhaler is close to empty.  Ideally, the inhaler should be one which could be kept at school and not have to travel back and forth. If your child uses a spacer (recommended practice) keep one at school with the inhaler.  The space and canister of medication could be stored in a closable baggie with the child’s name.  Include directions for use (number of puffs and frequency).   You may choose to have the school administer the medication especially if your child needs assistance or coaching with the device. 

 

A responsible older child may carry and administer their own inhaler.  Wisconsin Law allows for asthmatic students to carry a metered dose inhaler or a dry powder inhaler if the following conditions are met:

  • The student uses the inhaler before exercise to prevent the onset of asthmatic symptoms or uses the inhaler to alleviate asthmatic symptoms.
  • The student has the written approval of the pupil’s physician and, if a minor the written approval of the student’s parent or guardian.
  • The student has provided the school principal with a copy of the written approvals.

Triggers at School

When you visit your school, look for possible triggers and discuss them with school personnel.  Possible triggers could include classroom pets, carpeting, fuel exhaust form idling buses.  Create a plan to minimize exposure as much as possible.

Travel Tips

  • Make sure you have enough medications.
  • If you are visiting relatives or friends that smoke or have pets that you are allergic to, talk to your relatives/friends and create a plan to minimize your exposure.  You may also want to talk to your health care provider.  He or she may want to increase medications temporality. 
  • Consider taking a travel pillow or pillow encasement along that is allergy free for staying overnight in hotels and other homes.
  • Ask if your hotel has an allergy free room.
  • Avoid areas that allow smoking.

Metered Dose Inhalers

Unless one uses a metered dose inhaler correctly, much of the medication may end up on the tongue, on the back of the throat, or in the air. Use of a spacer can help this problem.

A spacer is a device that attaches to a metered-dose inhaler. A spacer holds the medication in its chamber so that it can be inhaled without coordination with breathing. This process helps deliver the medication to the airways where it will be more beneficial. Spacers help people not to cough when using an inhaler. It also helps prevent yeast infections in the mouth when inhaling steroid medications.

 

Step-by-step instructions on spacer use with a metered dose inhaler

  1. Remove caps from the spacer (if there is one) and inhaler.
  2. Insert inhaler into the spacer.
  3. Shake the inhaler already connected to the spacer.
  4. Exhale and place spacer mouthpiece into your mouth and close lips.
  5. Press down once on the inhaler.
  6. Breathe in slowly and as deeply as you can through your mouth. Breathing in too quickly may result in a whistling sound.
  7. Hold your breath for at least 5 seconds or as long as you can.
  8. Remove spacer from mouth and breathe out slowly.
  9. Remember that if two puffs are ordered, you may wait several minutes between puffs.

Download detailed instructions for Using a Metered Dose Inhaler With a Spacer here.

 

Cleaning: The spacer should be washed with a drop of mild dish soap and warm water weekly or may be placed on the top shelf of a dishwasher. They should air dry or could be wiped with a lint-free cloth.

Life of a spacer: Life is generally about 1 to 2 years. Spacers containing flap valves should have the valve changed every 6 to 12 months.

Life of an inhaler: Should be tossed after the number of puffs is used. For example, Flovent contains 120 actuations. If 4 puffs are used daily, the inhaler should be tossed after 30 days. Floating of inhalers to determine its contents is not always accurate. 

Peak Flow Meters
 

How to use a Peak Flow Meter

Move marker to zero or to the lowest number on the scale.

  1. Sit up straight or stand up.
  2. Take a deep breath.
  3. Close your lips around the mouthpiece (but keep your tongue clear of the opening).
  4. Blow out as hard and fast as you can into the mouthpiece.
  5. Take the meter out of your mouth.
  6. Write down the number.
  7. Repeat this test 2 more times.
  8. Write the date, the time and the highest of the 3 numbers in your record book/diary.

 

How to calculate your Personal Best Peak Flow Reading

Your personal best is the most air you can blow into your peak flow meter when your asthma is under control. When your asthma is under control, measure your peak flow reading every day for two weeks. Each day write down the best or highest number you reached. At the end of two weeks circle the highest number. This is your personal best.

 

  Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Week 1              
Week 2              

 

 

How to maintain your meter

  • Routinely examine your meter to make sure it is in proper working order.
  • Make sure the meter is free of foreign objects such as food particles.
  • The indicator and piston should move smoothly and freely.
  • The indicator should remain in place when moved to a position on the scale.
  • DO NOT USE A DAMAGED METER; see a medical provider for a replacement.

How to clean your meter:

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Warm water and a mild liquid soap should be used to clean your meter.
  3. Rinse thoroughly and air dry completely prior to use.

Note: The some inhalers may be dishwasher safe. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on all peak flow meters.

Advanced Technology

 

Respiratory Support

ENDOTRACHEAL TUBE

This is a tube that goes from the baby’s mouth or nose into the baby’s windpipe (trachea). It is secured with tape and attached by tubing to a breathing machine (ventilator). It allows the machine to deliver air and oxygen directly to the baby’s lungs.


VENTILATORS

This is a machine that breathes for the baby or assists the baby’s own breaths. Air/oxygen is delivered to the lungs with an endotracheal tube and allows the air to escape after each breath. There are several types of ventilators—your doctor and/or nurse can explain to you the one that your baby requires.


CPAP (CONTINUOUS POSITIVE AIRWAY PRESSURE)

Oxygen or air is given to the baby by using a small amount of pressure, usually through little, tiny tubes that fit into the nostrils of the nose. Delivering oxygen under pressure helps keep the air sacs in the lungs open.


SUCTION MACHINE

This machine provides a vacuum through a tube and is used to remove secretions from endotracheal tubes and the baby’s mouth. This is important since the airway must be kept clear for good air exchange.


NITRIC OXIDE

Nitric Oxide is an inhalation medication that is sometimes needed to support an infant’s breathing. We have used this medication for years and are very proficient in its use.

 

Observation Equipment

Monitors continuously provide nurses and doctors with important information. For the most part, these monitors are painless and non-invasive (attached to the outside of the skin). Your baby will have contact with some, but probably not all, of the following equipment:


CARDIORESPIRATORY MONITOR

This is sometimes referred to as a Heart Monitor or C-R (cardio-respiratory) Monitor. Three adhesive patches with wires connected to them are placed on the baby’s chest, abdomen, arms, or legs. The wires are attached to a machine that displays the baby’s heart rate, heart beat pattern, breathing rate and breathing pattern.

 

PULSE OXIMETER

The ‘pulse ox’ continuously measures the amount of oxygen in the baby’s blood. There is a tiny light which is attached to the baby’s palm, foot, finger, toe, or wrist by a piece of adhesive elastic. A cord connects the light to a machine that displays the amount of oxygen being carried by red blood cells in the baby’s body. This may be part of the cardio-respiratory monitor or a separate machine.

 

BLOOD PRESSURE MONITOR

Blood pressure may be measured periodically by a small cuff placed around the baby’s arm or leg, or may be measured continuously if the baby has a catheter (tiny tube) inserted into one of the his/her arteries.

 

Other Medical Support

 

IV (INTRAVENOUS INFUSION)

This is a needle or small tube that is placed into one of the veins of the infant. It is attached by tubing to a container of fluid. It is used to deliver fluids, medications and nutrients to the baby. Common sites for IV’s are hands, feet, arms, legs, and scalp.

 

UMBILICAL ARTERIAL CATHETER (UAC) OR UMBILICAL VENOUS CATHETER (UVC)

This is a small piece of tubing threaded into the baby’s artery or vein in the umbilical stump (belly button). In addition to delivering fluids, medication, and nutrients, blood can be withdrawn painlessly for laboratory studies.

 

I-STAT BLOOD GAS MACHINE

We have been using this state of the art piece of equipment for several years. This hand-held device gives almost immediate blood work results.

 

PHOTOTHERAPY

Jaundice is common in newborns, due to an increase in bilirubin (a normal breakdown product of blood) in the body. To help remove bilirubin, babies are placed under special lights or lie on a special lighted pad. These are called “bili lights, “bili blankets”, or “lucey lights”. Eye patches are placed over the baby’s eyes to protect them from the lights. If your baby is receiving this treatment, the lights may be turned off briefly and the patches removed when you visit.

 

SCALES

Babies are weighed daily. Smaller babies are weighed on a sling scale in the isolette in order to keep them in their warm environment. As they grow, they are weighed on a scale at the bedside.

 

BRAINZ

The Brainz monitor is a bedside monitoring system that gives staff the ability to monitor brain function 24 hours per day. It displays real time and time compressed EEG readings.

 

SELECTIVE TOTAL BODY COOLING

Electively inducing hypothermia (decrease in body temperature) to reduce the incidence of death and disability in term and near term infants.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Services

Ministry Health Care’s pulmonary rehabilitation program is designed for adults who are limited in their everyday activities due to lung surgery or lung disease (COPD, emphysema, asthma, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis, etc.). The pulmonary rehab program has active physician involvement. It is supervised by registered respiratory therapists, registered nurses and other health care providers.
You, or someone you know, might benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation.

 

Benefits of Pulmonary Rehabilitation

  • Pulmonary rehabilitation can make a difference in your life by helping you:
  • Do more of the things you enjoy.
  • Improve your strength, endurance, energy, and independence.
  • Perform daily activities with less shortness of breath.
  • Control your breathing and not panic when you feel short of breath.
  • Use your medications properly.
  • Understand your symptoms and how to prevent infections. This may mean fewer emergency room visits and fewer hospitalizations.
  • Improve dietary choices to promote good nutrition.
  • Conserve energy and improve work efficiency.
  • Quit smoking. This is the most important change you can make.

How do I get started?

You will need a referral from your doctor to participate in pulmonary rehabilitation. This referral and other information about your physical condition links us to your doctor so we may work together to provide you with the best care possible. Once the referral is made, someone from the Pulmonary Rehab team will contact you. Some payers, such as Medicare, may ask for qualifying testing, such as:

  • A physical within 90 days
  • Qualifying pulmonary function tests (breathing tests) within one year
  • Other testing as required by the medical director of your local program

 

How does Pulmonary Rehabilitation Work?

Pulmonary Rehabilitation consists of three major parts:

Exercise Training to help you:

  • Exercise Safely
  • Strengthen your Muscles
  • Improve Stamina 

A variety of exercise equipment is available. Staff will teach you how to use them at a pace that is right for you. You will be closely monitored during your exercise sessions.
 

Education and Counseling to help you:

  • Understand your lung disease
  • Learn methods to gain control over your breathing to reduce shortness of breath
  • Use your medications properly to make them work for you
  • Pace your daily activities and simplify work tasks
  • Detect early signs of infections and action to take
  • Establish a dietary plan to meet your individual needs
  • Create a smoking cessation plan or smoke free environment
  • Understand any home therapies, such as oxygen therapy

The Pulmonary Rehab team will help you learn to cope with living with lung disease.
 

Follow-Up Care:

On-going guidance and support which is a key to promoting your maximum rehabilitation potential. Follow-up care is designed for patients who have completed pulmonary rehabilitation and understand the importance of continuing a maintenance program in a supportive environment which reinforces a lifetime commitment to exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

 

Our Goal for You

Our goal is to provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to live better with chronic lung disease. You will also find support and understanding from the pulmonary rehabilitation staff and other members of your group.

Information Request

To find out more about Ministry's services:

Submit an online Request or Contact Us by phone.


 
 
Ministry's Latest Social Activities
Facebook Twitter