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The Department of Pulmonary Medicine undertakes the prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of pulmonary diseases in children, adolescents, and adults. Comprehensive pulmonary medicine programmes include specialized treatment of specific diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, sleep-disordered breathing, interstitial lung diseases, cystic fibrosis, occupational lung diseases, pulmonary rehabilitation, tuberculosis, lung cancers and a dedicated smoking cessation programme. Diagnostic facilities include pulmonary function testing, exercise testing, allergy testing, diffusion studies, flexible video bronchoscopic investigation, BAL and endobronchial stenting, spiral and higher resolution CT imaging guided biopsies, ventilation perfusion scans for pulmonary embolism and thoracoscopic procedures. The department renders facilities for investigation and management of all sorts of infective and non-infective pulmonary diseases. Revised National Tuberculosis Programme (RNTCP) - This is a unit under the control of district tuberculosis office, Ernakulam, working at the campus. Free microscopy and DOTS therapy are extended to deserving patients.
The Department of Pulmonary Medicine encompasses eight specific basic programs, each focusing on a general category of pulmonary disease.
A number of out-patient programs are available at the Department of Pulmonary Medicine for patients suffering from advanced emphysema, asthma and chronic bronchitis. These programs include pulmonary rehabilitation, transtracheal oxygen, and nutritional support. The Smoking Cessation Program is under the direction of physicians and therapists experienced In the treatment of nicotine dependence.
Asthma patients who are treated on an out-patient basis are periodically scheduled for group presentations about asthma ,including different types of the disease, common symptom, frequently used medicines, inhalers, and accessory equipment Patients are shown how louse peak-flow machines and are taught self-management techniques for their use at home.
Services include education about COPD and physical therapy. Patients can benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation .If they have emphysema, asthma, or chronic bronchitis. a team of healthcare professionals with various specialities staff the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program. The team consists of a pulmonary physician, a clinical nurse specialist, an exercise physiologist, a respiratory therapist, a dietician, and a social worker.
Services offered include an initial consultation with a Pulmonologist regarding smoking habits. Patient education is provided, and the motivation to stop smoking is discussed. Pharmaceutical intervention may be offered where appropriate counseling is also offered to patients attending the clinic and on a follow up basis as needed.
The Department of Pulmonary Medicine works in coordination with the Cardio-vascular Thoracic Surgery Department and the Department of Neurosciences to ensure the highest quality of care for patients with pulmonary problem. The Department of Pulmonary Medicine consists of a dedicated and well-qualified team of healthcare professionals.
The Department of Thoracic Surgery conducts all surgical procedures related to lungs, chest wall, mediastinum. and the oesophagus.
Patients with emphysema are being treated at the Department of Pulmonary Medicine with an innovative technique known as volume reduction surgery which results in less effort in breathing and reduced dyspnoea.
Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT's) are useful in diagnosing various lung disorders. They also measure the degree of impairment due to disease. The progression of a disease and the effectiveness of treatments can be carefully observed with regularly scheduled testing. Pulmonary Function Tests are also used frequently to assess preoperative risk and are done supervised by chief respiratory technician.
Flexible Video Bronchoscopic investigation and treatment provides an out-patient Bronchoscopy service. Bronchoscopies are useful in the investigation of such problems as coughing or an abnormal chest x-ray and are performed under local anaesthetic. A modern endoscopy suite with fluoroscopy is available for out-patient and In-patient bronchoscopies. A fibreoptic Bronchoscopy system with video and photographic capability is used for performing bronchoscopies which helps in the complete visual assessment of air passages and in making an accurate diagnosis of infection, cancerous changes, and also in obtaining biological samples for pathological examinations.
EBUS Endobronchial ultrasound is ultrasound combined with Bronchoscopy to obtain images in and around the bronchial tree or the lungs. This is an advanced diagnostic technology that provides real-time imaging of abnormalities inside the chest.
The greatest benefit of using EBUS for evaluating the central airway is that the patient can potentially avoid having to undergo a more invasive surgical procedure and can eliminate the need for additional phases of testing. In addition, because EBUS is performed under conscious sedation, patients recover quickly and can generally 90 home the same day. There are several indications for endobronclual ultrasound (EBUS).
Spiral and High Resolution CT Computed Tomography (CT) imaging. also known as 'CAT scanning’ (Computed Axial Tomography), provides high resolution imaging for cases of lung diseases, mediastinal diseases, and chest wall tumors. The software for spiral CT creates a CT endoscopy and a CT bronchoscopy, as well as a continuous helical acquisition which provides a 3-D volume scan allowing a radiologist to better localize very small tumor.
The Ventilation Perfusion Scan done in the Department of Nuclear Medicine is extremely useful in the detection and localization of pulmonary thromboembolisms as well as primary and secondary tumors.
The latest facilities are available for evaluation of Sleep Apnea in collaboration with the Department of Neurosciences.
Department of Pulmonary Medicine is conducting Quit Tobacco Clinic as a part of the activities of Anti Tobacco Movement at Amrita (ATMA). It is a comprehensive program motivating people to quit tobacco use and in which the patient, family members, doctor, medical social worker and the psychologist are involved. The program involves a combination of problem identification and solving, patient education, counseling and medication. Medication support is provided to avoid withdrawal symptoms as and when required. The intervention is done both at individual and group levels. People from all walks of life like students, employees, professionals, businessmen and unskilled laborers are attending this clinic and enjoy the benefits of smoking cessation.