Few medical symptoms are as distressing as the inability to breathe freely and fully. Unfortunately, for people with chronic health conditions that cause respiratory problems, such as COPD, emphysema, congestive heart failure, or asthma, difficulty breathing can be an everyday reality.
Recognizing the high degree to which breathing difficulties can impact patient comfort and quality of life, The Manor at Perrysburg, a member of the HCF Management family of companies, recently launched a state-of-the-art pulmonary program that will help patients with respiratory ailments breathe a lot easier.
“We can treat anyone with a pulmonary issue, whether restrictive or obstructive, ranging from patients who use CPAP or BiPAP to those requiring full ventilator or tracheostomy care,” says Lori King, RT, RCP, Director of Respiratory Services for The Manor at Perrysburg. “We’re also poised to nip small respiratory problems in the bud before they become bigger problems. For example, if a bug is going around and one of our residents develops bronchitis or a bad cough, we can take steps to prevent it from advancing to something more serious, such as pneumonia.”
King knows firsthand what pulmonary patients experience. Diagnosed with asthma as a child, she is well acquainted with the alarming sensation of being unable to catch one’s breath. To describe what it feels like, she suggests that people try breathing in and out through a coffee stirring stick for a few minutes. “That’s what it’s like to have an asthma attack or other form of respiratory distress. It’s a very panicky feeling,” she says.
The new pulmonary program is directed by pulmonologist Dr. James Tita, who heads a multidisciplinary team of dedicated professionals consisting of a respiratory therapist; physical, occupational, and speech therapists; nurses; social services; and dietary services—all of whom are focused on getting the patient back to the highest possible level of pulmonary function.
As King explains, the team can teach patients different breathing techniques, for example diaphragmatic breathing, as well as ways to keep the airways open and exercises that will strengthen both inspiratory and expiratory function in order to increase the volume of air moving in and out of the lungs.
Of course, the most important member of this multidisciplinary team is actually the patient. “Any pulmonary problem is manageable if the individual is willing to work at it, so patient compliance with treatment is essential to a positive outcome,” King says.
In addition to a multidisciplinary team of professionals, the pulmonary program boasts the most advanced respiratory equipment. For example, the ventilator used is the state-of-the-art Trilogy unit manufactured by Phillips/Respironics, which is very small, lightweight, and quiet in operation. This last characteristic ensures patients can get restful sleep without the disruptive noise produced by traditional ventilators. The Trilogy unit is also highly versatile, transitioning from CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) to BiPAP (Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure) to full ventilation.
The new pulmonary program at The Manor at Perrysburg couldn’t have been introduced at a better time. Many members of the baby boomer generation were smokers and now have chronic pulmonary diseases, such as COPD, emphysema, or congestive heart failure, so the demand for pulmonary services in various healthcare environments is considerable and will only increase as this population ages.
Summing up the primary goal of the new pulmonary program, King states, “Here at The Manor at Perrysburg, the patients are always number one, and our objective with this new program is to make every breath they take easier. The treatment for every pulmonary patient is set up individually based on their unique needs, and we do everything we can to ensure they have the best possible quality of life.”❦