SOMC Offers New Technology for Pulmonary Testing

Estel Gayhart (left), Registered Respiratory Therapist at Southern Ohio Medical Center uses the new Pulmonary Diagnostic equipment to test Amy France (right).

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently purchased two new pulmonary diagnostic machines and has donated the previous equipment to the Respiratory Therapy program at Shawnee State University.

“We felt like the equipment in the pulmonary diagnostic lab needed to be updated to provide better service for our customers and also to meet the American Thoracic Society standards,” Rory Phillips, administrative director of Pharmacy and Respiratory, said.

The new machine includes an exercise bicycle for exercise induced asthma testing and metabolic testing. Patients will sit in a body plethysmography (also known as a body box) which is a very sensitive lung measurement device used to detect lung pathology that might be missed with conventional pulmonary function tests. Also, the new box is wheelchair accessible.

“We are very excited that we now have the capability to test children ages six and up,” Pam Kayser, RRT/RPFT, supervisor of the Pulmonary Diagnostic Lab at SOMC, said. “In the past, we have tested children on some occasions but it’s difficult because they don’t understand what is happening or what we are asking them to do.”

Kayser explained that the new software displays animation so children and even adults will be able to see a simulation of the breathing exercise and interact better with the test and the respiratory therapist.

“At SOMC, we invest in technologies that enhance the quality and safety of our patients,” Dr. Elie Saab, senior medical director of Inpatient Services at SOMC, said. “In addition to the new equipment and better software, we now have the accessibility and ability to review the test results any time of the day, resulting in more efficient and excellent service provided for our patients.”

The SOMC Pulmonary Diagnostic Lab now offers complete pulmonary testing, including cardio pulmonary stress testing, bronchial probacation testing (asthma), metabolic testing, and exercise-induced asthma testing, among others.

In addition to the variety of tests available, SOMC also offers Pulmonary Rehabilitation as treatment for patients with various pulmonary and lung diseases, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD). The goals of Pulmonary Rehabilitation are to reduce the symptoms associated with COPD, to decrease disability, to increase participation in physical and social activities, promote independence and to improve a patient’s overall quality of life. A physician’s order is needed for pulmonary rehabilitation.

For more information about the services provided, please call the SOMC Pulmonary Diagnostic Lab at 740-356-8485.