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Respiratory Physiology

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Respiratory Physiology is part of the Heart and Lung unit in the Oxford Suite at the county Hospital. It is open 8:00am - 4:00pm Monday – Friday. Telephone 01432 372940.

The department consists of three staff – two Respiratory Physiologists and an Assistant Technical Officer. We all carry out a wide range of basic and specialist respiratory investigations and therapeutic assessments.

What do we do?

Respiratory investigations including:

  • Full lung function tests for people experiencing breathing problems
  • Spirometry - this test measures the amount of air you can blow out
  • Bronchodilator Response - this test assesses if respiratory drugs designed to open up airways will be beneficial to specific patients
  • Bronchial challenge tests - this tests measures how reactive a patient's airways are
  • Body Plethysmography - this test provides additional information on lung function e.g. total thoracic gas volume, airways resistance
  • Respiratory Muscle Tests - this assesses respiratory muscle strength/weakness
  • Allergy testing - this test assesses if a patient demonstrates an allergic reaction to specific allergens, e.g. grass pollen, cat dander
  • Capillary blood gases - this checks a patient's blood gas status e.g. oxygen and carbon dioxide content within the blood

These tests provide valuable information to help assess your lung capacity, calibre of airways, transfer of gases and can confirm or exclude suspected muscle weakness or suspected atopy. We also offer a comprehensive sleep disordered breathing service, oxygen assessment and cardio pulmonary exercise testing.

Sleep disordered breathing service

Patients who are referred for assessment in the sleep clinic will be screened for possible sleep disorders and undergo a 1:1 consultation, routine medical investigations and variety of home or inpatient sleep studies. These include overnight oximetry, airflow measurements and respiratory polysomnography. If you are found to have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea we will provide you with a trial of auto titrating Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). Our sleep services are overseen by Dr’s Ryan and Phillips.

What is CPAP Therapy?

Once diagnosis has been made you will get access to a wide range of equipment to help your treatment. This may include input from either the ENT or Orthodontics departments.

Patient involvement

We feel that part of our service is to include our patients as much as possible so although it is the doctor’s role to give information regarding the results of investigations, we will endeavour to include our patients as much as possible in their consultations with us, specifically on how to perform the tests effectively and why we are doing them.

Useful Links

  Air Products
  Allergy UK
  Asthma UK
  Benefits Advice
  British Lung Foundation
  Cheltenham Hospital
  Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
  Heartlands Hospital Birmingham
  Macmillan Cancer Support
  Mesothelioma UK
  NHS Smoking Helpline
  Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
  The Cystic Fibrosis Trust
  University Hospital Birmingham

© Wye valley NHS Trust 2019