All inpatient physical therapists at BIDMC are skilled in evaluating and treating patients with pulmonary conditions, such as pneumonia, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and emphysema.
Some patients who are unable to manage their secretions, or who are having difficulty breathing, may require chest physical therapy to breathe more easily. This may include percussion, shaking and/or vibration over the affected lung area to mobilize secretions.
Other techniques include teaching breathing strategies, strengthening breathing muscles and endurance training. Therapists are skilled using special equipment such as supplemental oxygen, oximeters (which monitor oxygen levels in the blood), and suctioning devices.