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Respiratory Therapy & Pulmonary Function Testing

Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory Therapists provide treatment and diagnostic respiratory services for patients in all clinical areas of Maine Medical Center, including the Special Care Unit (SCU), Cardio Thoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, emergency department, general care, perioperative, procedure areas, and other areas as required. The respiratory therapists, in collaboration with the medical team, participate in patient assessments, make appropriate clinical decisions and modify care according to evidence based clinical protocols.  They are part of a skilled inter-disciplinary team dedicated to high quality patient care with a focus on treating people with health care issues affecting the cardiopulmonary system such as asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, cardiovascular disorders, and trauma.

Respiratory Therapists are board-certified in respiratory therapy and many hold additional certifications and training in:

  • Adult Critical Care Specialist (ACCS)
  • Neonatal Pediatric Specialist (NPS)
  • Registered Pulmonary Function Technology (RPFT)
  • Certified Asthma Educator (AE-C)
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)

Pulmonary Function Testing

Pulmonary function testing (PFT) is a term used to describe a wide range of studies that are performed to measure a patient’s lung function. PFTs can include simple screening spirometry, lung volume testing, arterial blood gas analysis, diffusing capacity testing, and cardio-pulmonary exercise testing. The results are used by providers to evaluate respiratory symptoms such as dyspnea and coughing and can aid in diagnosing asthma, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The respiratory therapists in the Pulmonary Function Lab perform all non-invasive testing and also support the medical team with invasive testing such as bronchoscopy and lung biopsy.

Our hours of operation are from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday — Friday. The lab is located on the 4th floor of our main campus (via the Admitting Desk elevators) at 22 Bramhall Street in Portland. When you arrive on the 4th floor, look for the signs directing you to the “Breathing Test” waiting room (room 4220).

Please call the Central Scheduling Office at (207) 661-3000 to schedule out-patient appointments. If you have questions about testing or an appointment, you can contact the lab during hours of operation at (207) 662-4694.

The PFT lab at MMC offers the following tests:

  • Screening spirometry
  • Spirometry with pre & post bronchodilation
  • DLCO
  • Lung volume and resistance
  • Full PFTs (includes all of the above)
  • MMV
  • Sputum induction
  • Inhaled Pentamidine
  • Arterial blood gas analysis
  • Methacholine Challenge (Pediatric patients require a Pulmonology referral)
  • Cardio-Pulmonary exercise testing (requires a Pulmonary or Cardiology referral)
  • Indirect Calorimetry

Respiratory Therapy Education

Paul M. Cox Jr, MD, Memorial Mud Season Conference was established in 1993 and re-named in memory of Paul M. Cox Jr. MD in 2003. Dr Cox served as the Medical Director for the MMC Respiratory Therapy Department, the Medical Director for Southern Maine Community College’s Respiratory Therapy program, and the Chief of MMC’s Special Care Unit. Dr. Cox was a mentor and friend to the RT community and to all of his colleagues in the larger medical community. 

The Paul M. Cox Memorial Mud Season Conference is held annually on the first Friday in April and continuing education credits are awarded by the American Association for Respiratory Care. For more information, you can call the Pulmonary Medicine office at (207) 662-2662.