Providing Treatment to Improve Your Breathing
Monmouth Medical Center
An affiliate of Barnabas Health
For most people, breathing is effortless and occurs spontaneously.
But when a medical condition or unexpected injury makes breathing
difficult, treatment becomes necessary.
A respiratory therapist plays a major role on a patient's health
care team, working with physicians and nurses in providing evaluation,
diagnosis and treatment of breathing disorders that are caused by
a variety of conditions. These include:
- Chronic lung problems, such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema
- Accidents or injuries
- Cystic fibrosis
- Respiratory infections
- Prematurity (for newborns)
- Emergency respiratory care
The respiratory therapist is specially trained to perform procedures
to diagnose and treat breathing disorders, including:
- Obtaining and analyzing sputum and breath specimens.
- Taking blood
specimens for analysis of oxygen, carbon dioxide (and carbide monoxide
in cigarette smokers).
- Interpreting the data taken from these specimens.
- Measuring lung
- Performing stress tests and other studies of the cardiopulmonary
- Operating and maintaining highly sophisticated equipment
to administer oxygen or to assist with breathing.
- Employing mechanical
ventilation for treatment of patients who suffer from lung failure.
and managing therapy that will help a patient recover lung function.
medications in aerosol form to help alleviate breathing problems.
equipment and patient responses to therapy.
- Conducting rehabilitation
activities to help patients who suffer from chronic lung problems.
a patient's artificial airway, which may be in place to help the
patient who cannot breathe through normal means.
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