What is Respiratory Medicine?
 
Respiratory Medicine is the branch of medicine that treats people with diseases affecting the lungs and breathing tubes. Respiratory Medicine has 20 beds on Ward 32, including the 5-bed Respiratory Close Observation Unit (RCOU). 
 
The role of our lungs is to deliver oxygen into our bloodstream and remove carbon dioxide.  When you breathe in, air passes through the throat into the windpipe (trachea). The base of the windpipe divides into the right and left tubes (bronchi) which divide again and again each time getting smaller and smaller until the alveoli (air sacs) are reached. The alveoli act like balloons i.e. when you breathe in they inflate and when you breathe out they relax.
 
Oxygen moves across the walls of the alveoli and enters the bloodstream and is carried to the rest of the body after passing through the heart. Carbon dioxide is passed from the blood into the alveoli and is breathed out of the lungs.
 
Common symptoms of lung disease include: shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, cough (dry or productive of mucus), coughing up blood, and chest pain.
 
The staff are:
  • Respiratory Physicians (doctors who specialise in treating conditions of the lungs)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Respiratory and Sleep Physiologist
  • Physiotherapists
  • Registrars (doctors training to be specialists)
  • Community Health Workers
  • Lung Cancer Coordinators
  • Lung Function Team

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