Pulmonary & Respiratory Care

woman exercisingPulmonary

Pulmonary medicine is the specialty of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and management of disorders of the respiratory system. Pulmonary specialists combine breathing and aerobic exercises with weight training, education, and expertise to help return participants to their highest functional level.

For some pulmonary patients, walking for 20 minutes seems more like running a marathon. However, declining into a sedentary lifestyle only worsens the symptoms. A medically supervised exercise plan can help you improve function, enjoy activity again, and get back to feeling like your old self. This plan can help you understand what you can or should do, how to do helpful breathing, and the importance of doing the exercises. Sturdy's pulmonary rehab team understands the challenges and provides personalized plans to help everyone in our program achieve their highest possible level of function.


Respiratory care is an allied health specialty with medical direction in the treatment, management, control, evaluation and care of patients with deficiencies and abnormalities with the cardiopulmonary system. They are responsible for airway management throughout the hospital. Our respiratory care team administers a variety of treatment modalities including ventilator management, and perform diagnostic studies and are responsible for checking patients' oxygen.

A wide variety of inpatient and outpatient services are available, including sleep studies and pulmonary function testing (PFT). A PFT measures how well lungs take in and exhale air and how well your lungs are working. This testing method is non-invasive and can help our providers diagnose and determine your treatment plan. Abnormal results can mean that chest disease or certain lung disorders may be present. Some of the respiratory services provided include:

  • An outpatient pulmonary rehab program, which combines education and exercise to help those diagnosed with lung disease return to their highest level of functioning
  • A sleep lab, featuring the latest technology and comforting, knowledgeable staff

Quitting Smoking 

There are plenty of reasons to quit smoking. Namely, your health and your family. When you decide to quit, your body will thank you. According to the American Lung Association:

  • In 20 minutes of quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • In 12 hours of quitting, the amount of carbon monoxide in your blood stream drops to a normal level.
  • In the next 2 to 3 weeks, your circulation and lung function improves and your risk of heart attack begins to drop.
  • Over the course of the next 9 months, you will cough less and breathe better.
  • In 1 year of quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half.
  • In 2-5 years of quitting, your risk of developing cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Your risk of stroke is equal to that of a nonsmoker.
  • In 10 year of quitting, you are half as likely to die from lung cancer. Your risk of kidney and pancreatic cancer decreases.
  • In 15 years of deciding to quit smoking, you risk of heart disease is the same as that of a non-smoker. 

Contact Our Pulmonary and Respiratory Department

For more information about our pulmonary and respiratory services or to learn more pulmonary rehab, please call 508-236-7550.

Patient Stories

  • Dave Capraro, pulmonary patient on treadmillDave C.

    Dave is a husband, father and retired Attleboro Firefighter. In February of 2015, Dave was diagnosed with IPF or Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. In 2017, Dave’s condition deteriorated and medications were no longer effective. The next step for him was a lung transplant. Dave began pulmonary rehab at our Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehab Center. Pulmonary rehab provided Dave a safe, medically supervised environment to condition and prepare his body for surgery. He underwent a double lung transplant in January 2018. Thanks to his conditioning with pulmonary rehab prior to his surgery, he was in great shape to receive his lung transplant. Because of his great progress, Dave was able to be discharged home rather than being admitted to an inpatient rehab facility. He is back working hard in Pulmonary Rehab with a new, healthier future.

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