Respiratory therapists are uniquely trained to treat conditions of the respiratory system. Common diseases are emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma.
"Over 15 million people in the United States have asthma, and they come from every age group, race and income level," said Lori Salonen, Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) at Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center (SVVMC). "With education from respiratory therapists and good medical care from a physician, asthma is very treatable. Our goal is to control the symptoms and work on preventing the asthma episodes."
The theme for Respiratory Care Week this year is "Lung Health for Life" which sends the message that good lung health is a lifelong commitment.
"It is very important that we protect our lungs by avoiding smoke, having good hand washing habits and getting flu shots every year. If you do smoke, consider contacting the South Dakota Quit Line at 1-866-737-8487 for information on quitting," Salonen said.
Salonen provides a number of services at SVVMC including pulmonary rehabili-tation, asthma management, pulmonary function tests (breathing tests) and sleep studies for diagnosing sleep apnea.
Salonen will offer lung evaluations at a special rate of $10 during Respiratory Care Week. Call 638-8321 to schedule a half hour appointment.
Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center is a member of the Sioux Valley Health System.