Sabetha Community Hospital (SCH) is pleased to announce the reinstatement of pulmonary services with the facility. These services will include pulmonary function testing, pulmonary rehabilitation and coordination of home sleep studies for suspected sleep apnea. These services have not been available locally for over 15 years. With the addition of Kendra Douglas, respiratory therapist, and several pieces of equipment purchased with the help of the Sabetha Community Health Foundation, these procedures will be performed within Sabetha Community Hospital.
Pulmonary Function Testing is an extremely accurate method of determining a patient’s lung function. This can aid in the diagnosis of shortness of breath, cough, fatigue and other symptoms that may be affecting someone. This test can be arranged through the primary care physicians and practitioners at Sabetha Family Practice.
Once completed, the results are sent electronically to a pulmonologist at Topeka for interpretation and forwarded back to the requesting provider. Many common lung diseases can be not only diagnosed, but also measured using this technology. These include asthma, emphysema, COPD and others. This service is covered by most insurances.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation is scheduled to be undertaken very soon. This is a closely monitored exercise program for patients with lung disorders or a history of COVID-19. Patient’s heart rate and oxygen levels are observed during exercise in order to perform this activity safely while improving lung function. Medicare and other insurance companies typically will cover multiple sessions of pulmonary rehabilitation for patients diagnosed with these lung diseases. The goal is to improve shortness of breath and oxygenation, as well as improve overall quality of life.
Home Sleep Studies allow patients to be tested for sleep apnea in the comfort and convenience of their own homes. After a referral from a primary care practitioner, a monitoring device will be sent home with a patient and returned the next day. The nighttime monitor results will be interpreted and forwarded to the ordering practitioner to see if additional testing or treatment is necessary. Sleep apnea can cause a variety of symptoms that can be difficult to diagnose with such testing. Symptoms include daytime sleepiness, headaches, snoring, trouble concentrating and irritability, among others.
Douglas began work at Sabetha Community Hospital on March 14. Douglas was born and raised around Steinauer, Neb., and graduated from Humboldt Table Rock Steinauer High School in Humboldt, Neb.
Following high school, Douglas went to Southeast Community College where she graduated with an Associates of Applied Science Degree in Respiratory Care. Douglas has worked as a staff therapist and as a Respiratory Supervisor at Community Medical Center in Falls City, Neb., for the past 10 years.
Douglas and her husband, Blake, reside in Humboldt, Neb. Douglas is looking forward to serving the Sabetha community and working alongside the staff and providers at SCH.
“We are excited to have Kendra on board working alongside our Medical Staff and healthcare team to provide our cardiac and pulmonary patients with the best care possible,” said Dr. James Longabaugh, CEO.
For questions about Respiratory Therapy, contact Douglas at 785-284-2121 or visit with your primary care provider to see if a referral is needed.