Pulmonary medicine is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the lung. It includes asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, sarcoid and lung cancer. Diseases of the blood vessels of the lung such as pulmonary embolism or pulmonary hypertension are also included.
Symptoms of lung disease include cough, hemoptysis (coughing up blood), shortness of breath, wheezing and chest pain. Critical care medicine is the management of unstable and critically ill patients in the intensive care unit. It includes the mangagement of ventilators, treatment of unstable blood pressure, supervision of antibiotic therapy and management of nutrition.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: COPD. Any disorder that persistently obstructs bronchial airflow. COPD mainly involves two related diseases -- chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Both cause chronic obstruction of air flowing through the airways and in and out of the lungs. The obstruction is generally permanent and progresses (becomes worse) over time.
Asthma is also a pulmonary disease in which there is obstruction to the flow of air out of the lungs, but the obstruction is usually reversible and between attacks of asthma the flow of air through the airways is usually good.
COPD is also called chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD).
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