Respiratory Therapy

The Respiratory Therapy Department at Hillcrest Hospital Cushing provides inpatient care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The department offers both therapeutic and diagnostic services, as well as state of the art ICU ventilator care.

Outpatient services offered by the Respiratory Therapy Department include sleep study diagnostics, pulmonary function testing, and blood gas analysis.

Sleep Study Diagnostics

Hillcrest Hospital Cushing Respiratory Therapy Department, in partnership with Oklahoma Heart Institute Sleep Care, offers sleep medicine services. Oklahoma Heart Institute Sleep Care is the only center in Northeastern Oklahoma accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

Through this partnership, Hillcrest Hospital Cushing can offer services designed to help identify sleep disorders, as well as recommend treatments to improve your quality of sleep.

One especially dangerous type of sleep disorder is called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a tendency to stop breathing for periods of time during sleep which results in the patient not getting the needed amount of oxygen and failing to get a restful night sleep. Symptoms of sleep apnea are:

  • Restless Sleep
  • Very loud snoring, sometimes interrupted by silence and then gasps
  • Falling asleep during activities
  • Morning headaches
  • Loss of energy
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Mood changes
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Impotency

If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to problems such as high blood pressure, stroke or heart disease. Sleep apnea can be successfully treated, but first it must be diagnosed. The definitive way to determine whether or not someone has sleep apnea is through an all night sleep study. Hillcrest Hospital Cushing performs sleep studies as often as six nights a week.

If you think you might have sleep apnea or any other sleep problem, consult with your physician.

Pulmonary Function Testing

The Respiratory Therapy Department at Hillcrest Hospital Cushing offers outpatient pulmonary function tests (some times referred to as spirometry). PFT's are useful in helping your doctor to diagnose certain types of lung disease and help determine why you may feel short of breath. They are especially useful in diagnosing and monitoring the status of patients with asthma, bronchitis and emphysema or to measure whether exposure to certain substances in the workplace are affecting your lungs. These tests are also frequently used to test the effectiveness of a specific breathing medication for an individual patient.

Pulmonary function tests, simply put, measure how well you can inhale and exhale compared to other people of your own age, height, weight and gender. The patient is given instructions and coached through a process that consists of breathing into a mouthpiece that is connected to a measuring device and a computer. The data is collected and the computer then graphs the information and compares the patient to what is considered normal. This information is printed and then given to your physician or a pulmonologist for professional interpretation.

At Hillcrest Hospital Cushing these tests are performed only by properly trained and Oklahoma Sate Licensed Respiratory Care Practitioners to insure the accuracy of the results. If you feel often feel short of breath please visit your doctor. Only your physician can determine if pulmonary function tests are appropriate for you.