Leading Lung & Pulmonary Services Close to Home
Complete Lung Care — From Routine to Critical
Mercy Health’s lung and pulmonary program provides comprehensive, up-to-date pulmonary intensive care and rehabilitation led by an experienced team of registered nurses, exercise specialists, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, social workers, spiritual professionals and dietitians. We work together to help you achieve the best results possible. Our goal is to help our patients manage and relieve physical and emotional symptoms and improve the quality of their life and achieve a higher level of wellness.
When Do You Need a Lung Specialist (Pulmonologist)?
Pulmonary medicine (lung care) diagnoses and treats lung problems, such as:
- lung cancer
- pleural diseases
- interstitial lung disorders (lung scars)
Diagnosing a Lung Problem
If your doctor thinks you might have a lung problem, he or she may order any of the tests below to learn more about what’s going on inside your lungs. The kind of test you have depends on what symptoms or problems you’re having.
- bronchoscopy (shows the inside of your lungs)
- ultrasound bronchoscopy with biopsy of abnormal lymph nodes in the lung
- navigational bronchoscopy, a special procedure to take biopsies in hard-to-reach areas of the lung
- other procedures to help identify lung infections in special cases
Lung Function Tests
If you have a breathing problem, your doctor might suggest a lung function test (pulmonary function test) to see how well your lungs are working. This can show:
- how much air your lungs can take in
- how much air you can blow out — and how fast
- how well your lungs deliver oxygen to your blood
- how strong your breathing muscles are
Lung function tests are available at all Mercy Health hospitals.
People who are seriously ill are admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). These critical care units are staffed with doctors, advanced nurse practitioners and critical care nurses who specialize in treating seriously ill patients. Every Mercy Health hospital in the Cincinnati area has a specialized ICU. We operate as one system across many local sites, so we have the structure in place to make sure each location offers advanced, up-to-date critical care treatment.
Mercy Health doctors and hospitals diagnose and treat lung cancer in collaboration with thoracic surgeons and Oncology Hematology Care, Inc. This team approach helps get you answers fast.
The American College of Radiology has designated Mercy Health - Clermont Hospital, The Jewish Hospital - Mercy Health and Mercy Health - West Hospital as Lung Screening Centers. The Lung Cancer Alliance has named Mercy Health – Anderson and Clermont Hospitals Screening Centers of Excellence for their ongoing commitment to responsible lung cancer screening.
How do I know if I should have a lung cancer screening?
Yearly lung cancer screenings are recommended for individuals between the ages of 55-79 years old who have smoked a pack a day (or more) for 30 years and either continue to smoke, or have quit in the past 15 years.
How effective is a lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scan?
A study was recently conducted by the National Cancer Institute. The initial results of this eight-year National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) proved that low-dose CT Scans can help save the lives of people at high risk for lung cancer.
- The trial included more than 53,000 current and former heavy smokers age 55-74
- It compared the effects of low-dose helical computed tomography (CT) and standard chest X-ray on lung cancer mortality
- The trial found 20% fewer lung cancer deaths among participants screened with low-dose CT. Low-dose CT-based lung cancer screening can be a key component in the early detection process, and with early detection, 85% of cancers can be found in the earliest, most curable stages.
How does the lung screening process work? What are my next steps?
The Mercy Health Pulmonary Team of physicians, radiologists, nurses and caregivers are committed and equipped to partner with you every step of the way — from consultation to imaging to treatment (if necessary).
- If you are interested in a lung cancer screening, we recommend that you first have a discussion with your physician to determine if it is appropriate for you. (If you don't have a Primary Care Physician, please call Mercy Health at 513-981-2222 for help in finding one.)
- Ask your physician to call Mercy Health at 95-MERCY (513-956-3729) to schedule a lung screening low-dose CT scan.
- The scan generally takes about 30 minutes. After your scan, you and your ordering physician will be notified of the results.
- A Mercy Health Nurse Navigator is available to assist you and your physician with follow-up appointments and education. The Nurse Navigator will work in conjunction with the ordering physician. If appropriate, he or she can provide you with information about Mercy Health's Pulmonary Services.
- In most cases, a Mercy Health Pulmonary Specialist will be able to see you within 48-72 hours of the referral.
Will my insurance cover this screening? What will it cost?
It is always a good idea to check with your carrier regarding your specific coverage. In those cases where the screening is not covered, you can rest easy knowing that Mercy Health is committed to keeping costs down and making the process affordable. The patient's out-of-pocket cost is approximately $99, which includes testing and interpretation by a radiologist. You may be able to pay for this out of your Health Savings or Flexible Spending Account. You should check with your benefits administrator to be sure.