The Cardiopulmonary Department is involved in the evaluation, treatment, management, and care of patients with deficiencies and abnormalities associated with the heart and lungs. The department performs a wide range of testing to assist the physician in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Some of these services include oxygen maintenance, nebulizer therapy, BiPap/CPAP administration, and ventilator management. Cardiac testing includes holter monitors, cardiac event monitors, EKG’s, and cardiac stress tests. Other tests performed in the cardiopulmonary department include EEG’s, Pulmonary Function Tests, and Simple Spirometry Testing. All services are provided by licensed Respiratory Care Practitioners under the direction of a physician.
Learn more about your test below.
A stress test, also called an exercise stress test, is used to gather information about how well your heart works during physical activity. Because exercise makes your heart pump harder and faster than it does during most daily activities, an exercise stress test can reveal problems within your heart that might not be noticeable otherwise.
An exercise stress test usually involves walking on a treadmill while your heart rhythm, blood pressure and breathing are monitored.
Your doctor may recommend an exercise stress test if he or she suspects you have coronary artery disease or an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia). An exercise stress test may also be used to guide your treatment if you've already been diagnosed with a heart condition
Your doctor may recommend an exercise stress test to:
- Diagnose coronary artery disease. Your coronary arteries are the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients. Coronary artery disease is a condition that develops when these arteries become damaged or diseased — usually due to a buildup of plaque. If you have symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pain with exertion, a stress test can help determine if they're related to coronary artery disease.
- Diagnose arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythm). Arrhythmias occur when the electrical impulses that coordinate your heart rhythm do not function properly. This may cause your heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly. If you have symptoms such as a racing heartbeat, slow heartbeat or a fluttering in your chest, an exercise stress test can help determine if they're related to an arrhythmia.
- Guide treatment of heart disorders. If you've already been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, valvular heart disease or another heart condition, an exercise stress test can help your doctor find out how well treatment is working to relieve your symptoms. It may also be used to help establish the right treatment plan for you by showing how much exercise your heart can handle.
Nuclear Stress Tests
A nuclear stress test measures blood flow to your heart muscle both at rest and during stress (exercise) on the heart. It is performed similarly to a routine exercise stress test, but provides images that can show areas of low blood flow through the heart and areas of damaged heart muscle.
A nuclear stress test usually involves taking two sets of images of your heart — one set during exercise while you are walking on a treadmill, and another set while you are at rest. If you are unable to walk on a treadmill, the doctor may want to perform a chemical test on you. A chemical test is a nuclear stress test that uses medication to exercise your heart. A nuclear stress test is used to gather information about how well your heart works during physical activity and at rest.
You may be given a nuclear stress test if your doctor suspects you have coronary artery disease or another heart problem, or if an exercise stress test alone wasn't enough to pinpoint the cause of symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath. A nuclear stress test may also be recommended in order to guide your treatment if you've already been diagnosed with a heart condition.
Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT)
A test used to diagnose asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and certain other conditions that affect breathing. PFT’s may also be used to check how well your lungs are working once you are being treated for a chronic lung condition.
PFT’s measure how much air you can inhale and exhale. It also measures how fast you can exhale. PFT values below average indicate your lungs aren't working as well as they should.
If you've already been diagnosed with a chronic lung disorder, Pulmonary Function Testing may be used to check how well your medications are working and whether your symptoms are under control.
A holter monitor is a small device that is worn to record the electrical activity of your heart. It may be worn for up to two days. During that time, the device will record all of your heartbeats. A Holter monitor is usually performed after an electrocardiogram (EKG) isn't able to give your doctor enough information about your heart's condition. Your doctor uses information captured on the Holter monitor's recording to figure out if you have a heart rhythm (arrhythmia) problem. While wearing a Holter monitor may be a little inconvenient, it is an important test that may help your doctor diagnose your condition.
An event monitor is a portable device used to record your heart's electrical activity when you have symptoms. It records the same information as an electrocardiogram (ECG), but for longer durations of time. Event monitors are used to help analyze electical signaling through the heart. These tests are very helpful in deagnosing a variety of abnormal heart rhythms and medical conditions.
Sometimes a healthcare provider may suspect that you have an abnoraml heart rhythm based on your medical history, even if your ECG looks normal. Certain abnormal heart rhythms happen infrequently and temporarily. A random ECG is unlikely to pick up your abnormal heart rhythm if this is the case. An event monitor may be a better option for you. That way, you can record your heart's electrical activity when you are having symptoms from your abnormal rhythm. Wearing the event monitor can help determine whether you have an abnormal heart rhythm. If you do have an abnormal rhythm, the event monitor can help determine what type. An event monitor does not record continuously. Instead, it records when you active it. Some event monitors will automatically start recoding if an abnormal heart rhythm is detected. event monitors can be worn for up to a month.
The recording of the brain’s spontaneous electrical activity over a short period of time, usually 20–40 minutes, as recorded from multiple electrodes placed on the scalp.
ECG or EKG (Electrocardiography)
An electorcardiogram records the electrical signals in your heart. It's a common test used to detect heart problems and monitor the heart's status in many situations. An ECG is a noninvasive, painless test with quick results. During an ECG, sensors (electrodes) that can detect the electrical activity of your heart are attached to your chest and sometimes your limbs.