RGH continues to fulfill community needs

Contributed photo Miguel Ybarra performs pulmonary function testing at Rio Grande Hospital. Thanks to a generous donation, RGH was able to purchase state-of-the-art PFT equipment.

Rio Grande Hospital (RGH) continues to grow its services to meet the needs of the community. Thanks to an anonymous donor, RGH was able to purchase a state-of-the-art machine for Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT).

In addition to routine pulmonary function testing, RGH can also preforms N2Washouts, Diffusing Capacity for Carbon Monoxide (DLCO) included in the panel.

These help those with advanced lung disease or who are experiencing new lung-related symptoms. Many people having lung damage issues from the illnesses such as asthma, allergies, chronic bronchitis, respiratory infections, lung fibrosis, bronchiectasis, COPD, asbestosis, sarcoidosis, scleroderma, lung cancer, not to mention the increase of lingering issues from people who had COVID-19.

RGH knew that PFT is proving to be a need. Some patients suffer from lung damage, extreme fatigue, heart problems, liver problems, kidney problems, blood clots, etc. This PFT helps determine how much air moves in and out of your lungs and how fast it moves.

The DLCO gives an overall assessment of functional lung surface area for gas exchange and can be assessed using various methods. Where the N2Washouts tests for measuring anatomic dead space in the lung during a respiratory cycle, as well as some parameters related to the closure of airways. 

These new tests provide additional detail and diagnostic information for those who have advanced lung disease or are experiencing new lung-related symptoms. They help determine the efficiency and can assist in determining any potential problems. People having symptoms of lung problems, been exposed to substances in the environment or workplace, to monitor the course of chronic lung diseases, such as asthma and chronic inflammatory lung disease (COPD), or to assess lungs before surgery can go to RGH.

All they need is an order from their health care provider. Once they have the order, the provider will forward that information to Respiratory Therapy, where an appointment will be set-up. When they come to get the test, they will be in the capable hands of Miguel Ybarra. Ybarra has been helping people with their respiratory issues for many years. He is also bilingual.

"Thank you so much to all the donors for your generosity and continued support throughout all these years. You not only provide funds for equipment but most importantly, your contributions allow us to continue to provide services to Del Norte and the surrounding communities that otherwise would not be possible. The Pulmonary Function Machine purchased not only allows us to perform basic spirometry but also more advanced studies that would otherwise not be possible. Again, on behalf of Rio Grande Hospital and the Respiratory Therapy Department, thank you very much," Ybarra said. 

Once they obtain their results, their clinician can better assist them in diagnosing and treating many conditions. RGH has seen patient success in their Pulmonary Rehabilitation program.

For more information, talk to your clinician or call RGH at 719-657-2418.

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