Our respiratory therapy department specializes in treating respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and COPD, as well as the acute breathing problems associated with traumatic injury, heart attack or stroke. Our high-level of care has allowed us to receive designation as a Quality Respiratory Care Program from the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC), placing us among only 500 United States hospitals with this honor.

Our respiratory therapists ensure that every person at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, from newborn to the aged, can breathe easy. They are experts who coordinate with every department of the hospital, managing life support devices, airway management, mechanical ventilation and other aspects of critical care medicine. They attend high risk births and respond to and care for all neonatal and pediatric respiratory problems. They also respond to all rapid response calls in the hospital and manage all acuity levels in the ICU.

Among the diagnostic services our respiratory therapy department provides are:

  • Blood gas sampling and analysis
  • Bedside spirometry
  • Inspiratory/expiratory force measurements
  • Non-invasive cardiopulmonary monitoring, including pulse oximetry
  • Pulmonary mechanics and flow monitoring

In addition, we were on the cutting-edge of developing and implementing a risk screening program for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a condition that affects about 24 percent of the U.S. population and often goes undiagnosed. Untreated OSA can lead to heart, endocrine and circulatory problems.

Sentara in the Community