1350 Walton Way
Augusta, GA 30901
Approximately 60 percent of patients hospitalized at University require some form of respiratory therapy, and thanks to a certification awarded to University's Respiratory Therapy Department, they can all breathe a little easier.
For the fourth year in a row, University Hospital has received certification as a Quality Respiratory Care Recognition (QRCR) hospital by the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC). About 500 of the nation’s 5,000 hospitals have received this prestigious recognition, which helps patients and their families make informed decisions about the quality of respiratory care services available in hospitals. Only 20 other hospitals in the state of Georgia have acquired this designation.
The designation is given to hospitals whose respiratory therapists meet strict credentialing criteria, offer services 24 hours, seven days a week and have a strong, designated medical director.
University’s Respiratory Therapy Department is staffed by 72 respiratory therapists who provide round-the-clock coverage. They care for patients who have impaired lung function under the direction of Michael Haynes, M.D., a board-certified pulmonologist and private practitioner contracted by the hospital to serve as medical director. The department operates and maintains highly sophisticated equipment to administer oxygen, uses mechanical ventilation for patients who can’t breathe on their own, and monitors and manages therapy to help patients recover lung function. Respiratory therapists are important and vital members of the health care team. The therapists work with patients at all levels of care and all ages, from premature infants to geriatric patients.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term used to describe a large group of lung diseases that interfere with normal breathing. Close to 24 million American adults have evidence of impaired lung function. This is why it is increasingly important for hospitals to maintain high-quality respiratory therapy programs. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in America, and smoking is the primary risk factor.