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At McLaren Bay Region our multidisciplinary teams diagnose and treat a broad range of respiratory disorders, from asthma and emphysema, to lung cancer and sleep apnea. The clinical teams include board-certified pulmonologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, respiratory therapists, sleep technologists, and other specialized personnel who will work hard to improve your quality of living.

When illness or injury affects your ability to breathe, it can be a medical emergency. In the intensive care units at , ventilators, or breathing machines, can temporarily take over the breathing function for patients who have the most severe breathing problems. Most of us will not need such drastic intervention, but at McLaren Bay Region, the Pulmonary Medicine Program is helping many patients to breathe easier.

Pulmonologists The heart of our program includes pulmonologists, physicians who specialize in pulmonary medicine. Pulmonologists take care of patients with lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, pneumonia, and lung cancer.

Pulmonary Services

Who can benefit from this program?

Patients with:

  • Emphysema
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Restrictive lung disease
  • Pre and post lung surgery
  • Pre and post lung transplant surgery
  • Sleep disorders
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Acute respiratory disease
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Lung cancer
  • Windpipe and bronchial obstructions
  • And many others

Additional treatments for:

  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea
  • Insomnia (inability to fall asleep)
  • Narcolepsy (inability to stay awake)
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Parasomnias ( sleep walking, sleep taking, etc)
  • Sleep terrors, nightmare and others

Early Detection of COPD include:

  • Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
  • Exercise-induced coughing, dyspnea or wheezing
  • Smokers over 45 years of age (NLHEP recommendation)
  • Obesity
  • Pre-operative testing
  • Occupational exposure to dust and/or documentation of pulmonary disability
  • Asthma diagnosis
  • Pre-existing pulmonary disease
  • Frequent colds
  • Assessment of congestive heart failure

What are the benefits of Pulmonary Treatment?

  • Improved quality of life and increased sense of well-being
  • Decreased shortness of breath
  • Control over breathing pattern
  • Increased strength and endurance
  • Increased knowledge of disease management
  • Decreased anxiety and depression

Our Pulmonary Program at McLaren Bay Region

In order to determine the proper diagnosis, physicians may order a chest x- ray, a pulmonary function test, or a pulmonary stress test. Conducted with state-of-the-art equipment,the pulmonary function test measures both the volume and the flow of air into and out of the lungs. Data are then compared with predicted norms for your age, height, weight, and sex. Pulmonary function tests may be ordered before surgery for a person with a chronic pulmonary disease. They may also be useful in monitoring patients who may be on medications that can affect pulmonary function.

A pulmonary stress test involves exercising on a stationary bicycle. A device held in the mouth collects all exhaled gases, which are then analyzed. The effort required to pedal may be increased, which increases the patient's exertion. The patient is attached to an EKG (heart) monitor during the test and blood may be taken before, during, and after exercise.

Another test that can be valuable in diagnosing or treating patients with breathing difficulties, is a bronchoscopy. This procedure takes place in the hospital. Patients are lightly sedated and a small tube is inserted through the nose, down into the windpipe and into the lung. A small camera on the end of the scope allows us to see the lung from the inside. Tissue samples can be taken for examination under the microscope, and it is even possible to do some treatments through the bronchoscope.

In the hospital setting, respiratory care takes on many faces. In addition to monitoring and managing ventilator patients in the critical care units, respiratory therapists respond to all emergency codes, where a patient is experiencing a life-threatening event. They also report to the emergency room to help establish an airway for patients with trauma, and they are involved with every patient who needs an oxygen-giving device. Anywhere in the hospital where there is a patient with breathing difficulties, or potential problems, you will find a respiratory therapist.

Respiratory therapists also administer breathing treatments that may open airways, or reduce secretions. They also teach post-surgical patients how to keep their lungs clear by using an incentive spirometer, a device which encourages deep breathing. You'll even find respiratory therapists in the sleep lab, where patients are checked for breathing difficulties during sleep.

McLaren Home Medical, with locations in the Medical Mall and Allen Medical Building, has a complete selection of products and services to support the home patient, including lightweight portable oxygen systems, and a portable ultrasonic nebulizer that delivers medication in microscopic particles.

When patients return home, respiratory therapists from MEC help them learn to be comfortable administering treatments for themselves.

Support Groups

At each home visit, patients and their equipment are checked and written reports are given to the physician. An important part of managing a chronic breathing condition can be support from others who share the same problems and who have helpful solutions to share. Medical Equipment Center staff are active in the following respiratory disease support groups:
  • COPD Support Group
  • C-Pap Support Group
  • Asthma Support Group
For further information, call (989) 895-4500.

COPD Clinical Trial

McLaren Bay Region's Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program was selected as a satellite for the University of Michigan, which is participating in a national clinical trial that is being conducted to determine the effectiveness of lung reduction surgery as a treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It will also attempt to identify patients who are the best candidates for medical or surgical treatments. Patients accepted into the study at U of M can undergo pulmonary rehabilitation at McLaren Bay Region. Following rehabilitation, patients will be assigned either medical or surgical treatment, and will receive follow-up care.

For further information about this clinical trial, please talk to your personal physician.