The Respiratory Therapy Department at St. Joseph Hospital specializes in treating respiratory illnesses including chronic lung problems such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and COPD, as well as acute breathing problems associated with serious or life-threatening conditions such as traumatic injury, heart attack, or stroke. Respiratory therapists are experts in managing life support devices, airway management, mechanical ventilation, and other aspects of critical care medicine. Therapists who complete the Endotracheal Intubation course are certified to intubate inpatients and emergency room patients during emergency situations and respond to all CODE and Trauma Team situations.
Under the direction of Medical Director William Stephan, M.D., FCCP, respiratory therapists work one-on-one to develop a respiratory care plan that is best suited to each patient's needs. Therapist-driven protocols allow the therapists to make changes in response to the patient's health status within the framework of best practice guidelines for specific treatments post-surgery, for patients on ventilators or for those with COPD, for example. The Department manages and maintains the latest life support devices, including Servo "i" mechanical ventilators, NAVA ventilation and the pulmonary function lab.
Patients may visit the pulmonary function laboratory when their doctor orders a pulmonary function test (PFT) to rule out various forms of lung disease including pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema, COPD, asthma, chronic bronchitis, or progression of a disease, or to monitor possible medication side effects on the lungs. Testing includes spirometry, diffusion capacity, thoracic gas volume, lung volumes, airway resistance, Methacholine challenge, and disability.
Those who suffer from chronic lung disease may benefit from our Pulmonary Rehab program, under the direction of pulmonologists. The program meets twice a week for eight weeks and includes individualized exercise programs to increase health and endurance, as well as group presentations to help patients learn about lung disease and symptom management to improve their overall well-being.
Respiratory Therapy – Outpatient Services
172 Kinsley Street
Nashua, NH 03061-2013
Tel: (603) 882-3000, ext. 67400