Respiratory Care

Respiratory Care

Diagnostic Testing and Respiratory Services

Under the direction of pulmonologists Dr. Richard Kern and Dr. Evan McLeod, Little Company's Respiratory Care Department offers detailed diagnostic testing and therapeutic procedures complemented by ongoing patient support in an understanding, caring atmosphere. We believe that we need to help you feel comfortable with your understanding of respiratory therapy procedures so you can obtain the best possible results and truly breathe easier.


We offer the following procedures and therapies:



Pulmonary function testing: This is a series of breathing maneuvers that tell the doctor at what percentage your lungs are functioning and indicate your lungs' volume and capacity. These baseline studies are analyzed by computer and interpreted by our staff. The type of tests that help us determine your pulmonary function are: spirometry, lung volume determination, diffusing capacity, post-bronchodilator studies, bronchoprovocation testing, and bedside screening with flow volume loop. These tests usually can be performed in less than one hour and are painless. Tests are performed Monday through Friday 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m. Saturdays 9 a.m, 11 a.m., and 1 p.m. Evening appointments are also available.


Oximetry tests: The oximetry test measures the patient's blood oxygen level using a plastic device which fits onto the finger or earlobe over which a high-intensity light beam crosses. The light beam measures absorbance of the light by your blood, which gauges your blood's oxygen content. The test is done without taking any blood samples, is completely painless, and takes less than one minute.


Flight simulation and oxygen assessment: This helps determine whether a patient with a lung or heart problem should use supplemental oxygen during a commercial airline flight. During this test, the patient breathes a gas mixture similar to air in a plane flying at 30,000 to 35,000 feet. Oximetry is measured to determine how much supplemental oxygen, if any, is needed to maintain adequate blood oxygen levels during flight.


Bronchoscopy: In this test, a doctor looks through a fiber-optic tube which has been passed into the throat and bronchial passages through which he or she can examine, take pictures or even remove tissue samples. There is very little discomfort to the patient and the test can be performed on an outpatient basis.


Sleep tests: Many sleep problems are due to abnormal night time breathing. Many people without their knowledge, stop breathing repeatedly during the night. The Respiratory Care Department at Little Company operates our Sleep Disorders Center, to aid in the evaluation of patients with a broad array of sleep-related problems.



Once testing is complete, the physician may prescribe one of the following respiratory therapies.


Nebulizer therapy: Opens constricted air passages, bronchial hygiene to drain various areas of the lungs


Sputum Induction: Generates sputum to collect for examination.


Outpatient therapy is offered 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. seven days a week. Inpatient therapy is available 24 hours a day.


The Respiratory Care Department also offers a support group for patients with lung disease. Family members also are welcome.


The Huff and Puff Club

This support group lends help to adults of all ages with chronic pulmonary disease. It is an informative, social and emotional support group that has monthly educational programs and special events. The Club offers members the opportunity to interact with people with similar respiratory problems. Monthly guest speakers discuss topics of interest suggested by Club members or Respiratory Care staff. Call 708.229.5530 for dates and times.


Respiratory Care Department

West Pavlion, First Floor




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