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Lung Care Center Receives Top-of-The-Line Equipment to Detect Asthma

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HANFORD – Adventist Health / Lung Care Center has new, state-of-the-art technology to conduct breathing tests that can help identify a variety of lung conditions, such as asthma.

The first patient to use the new pulmonary function testing (PFT) machine was seen on March 24. Providers refer patients to the Lung Care Center to have a PFT performed if X-rays or lab work are unable to identify the root of the problem.

A PFT determines how well a person can move air into and out of their lungs and how well oxygen enters the body.

“Having this machine is a huge advantage for the Lung Care Center,” says Patrick Hoffman, respiratory therapist and director of the Lung Care Center and Sleep Apnea Lab. “It rivals any machine in the Central Valley. If it’s not the best, it’s right there with the best.”

The tests are run by Respiratory Therapist Gonzalo Varela. He’s been conducting PFTs for Adventist Health / Central Valley Network since 1975. Varela attended training in Los Angeles to learn the new features of the machine and computer system.

One of the upgrades from the previous machine is that it has a larger capacity for patients. It’s also portable, so it can be moved into the hospital. Inside the glass box is a mouthpiece for diffusion studies, which measure how well the lungs exchange gases. Varela coaches patients through these tests, reads the data in the computer system and gets the results back to the provider the same day.

Physicians from Stanford Medical Center and the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center who see patients from the Central Valley many times will send their patients to Varela to have the test performed.

“He gets really good results because he can communicate and connect with people,” says Hoffman. “We’re very fortunate to have someone who is bilingual and a great coach operating this machine.”

The machine has been approved by the American Thoracic Society, which sets the standards for PFTs.

The Lung Care Center is located on the third floor of the Hanford Medical Pavilion, 125 Mall Dr., Suite 305 in Hanford. The office number is (559)-537-0440.