Mary Lucas, Pulmonary Function Technician in the Respiratory Care Department at Valley, performs a Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) on a patient.
The Respiratory Care Department provides care and treatment to all types of patients, ranging from premature infants whose lungs are not fully developed to elderly individuals with lung disease. Care provided by Valley’s respiratory therapists includes: administration of Aerosol therapy, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, management of mechanical ventilators, administering drugs to the lungs, and measuring lung function. Therapists work in collaboration with nurses, physicians and other ancillary departments in order to provide the best care to patients.
An Arterial Blood Gas (ABG) analysis is a blood test that measures how well your lungs are bringing oxygen into your blood and removing carbon dioxide. As blood passes through your lungs, oxygen moves into the blood while carbon dioxide moves out of the blood into the lungs. An ABG test uses blood drawn from an artery, where the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels can be measured before they enter body tissues.
An ABG test is done to:
- Check for severe breathing problems and lung diseases, including COPD, asthma, or cystic fibrosis.
- Check the progress of treatment for lung diseases.
- Determine if you need extra oxygen or help with breathing.
- Determine if you are receiving the right amount of oxygen while in the hospital.
- Measure the acid-base level in the blood of people who have uncontrolled diabetes, sleep disorders, heart failure, kidney failure, severe infections, or after a drug overdose.
We offer Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs), which are non-invasive diagnostic tests used to measure how much air your lungs can hold and the flow of air in and out of your lungs. They can also measure the amount of gases exchanged across the membrane between your alveolar wall and capillary membrane. Ultimately, PFTs diagnose various restrictive and obstructive pulmonary diseases and measure responsiveness to bronchodilators.
A valuable screening tool for lung function, a PFT is also particularly useful as a preoperative screening measure. Those with lung difficulties may have trouble coming out of anesthesia. Knowing that a patient has these lung difficulties allows the medical team to prepare, resulting in greater, more personalized patient care.
Risk Factors and Symptoms to Indicate Potential Need for a PFT:
- History of disease, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- History of smoking
- Shortness of breath
Our PFT Lab also offers cardiopulmonary exercise testing on a bicycle ergometer, which is conducted by one of our board-certified pulmonologists and respiratory therapists. This is a computerized test that provides a breath-by-breath analysis of respiratory gas exchange at rest and during a period of exercise. Information on airflow, O2 consumption, CO2 production, heart rate, and electrocardiogram (EKG) are collected and used for computation of other variables. ABG analyses may also be sampled. The results are then interpreted by a pulmonologist.
For more information, please call the PFT Lab at 201-447-8229.
Making an Appointment
Patients must be referred by a physician in order to have a Pulmonary Function Test or Arterial Blood Gas analysis. Talk to your physician if you experience any of the above symptoms that might indicate a need for either of these diagnostic tests.
For more information, please call the Respiratory Care Department at 201-447-8222.