On June 23, St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital opened its new Pulmonary Function Testing Lab.

On June 23, St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital opened its new Pulmonary Function Testing Lab.

The lab, completed after several months of development, fills a large need for the hospital and the community.

“We have a large population with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which is also known as COPD,” said Kami Lively, director of respiratory sleep lab and lung care. “We also have a large population of asthmatics in our community.”

Before the lab was built, patients with pulmonary problems oftentimes had to drive to Oklahoma City for care.

Lively said the lab is very easy to be in.

“It’s not scary by any means,” she said.

Patients in the lab are helped from beginning to end.

“The patient comes into the hospital as an outpatient and they will be greeted by a respiratory therapist who will take them to our lab,” Lively said. “They will walk them through step by step. They have their own mouthpieces and own equipment that each patient gets.”

Since it’s opening, the lab has gotten a lot of business.

“We have been busy,” Lively said. “Again, it was a huge need that we had in this community, and so physician referrals have been a great thing. It’s also a big crowd pleaser to our patients so they don’t have to drive that drive.”

Lively said those who work in the lab work hard to give results in a timely fashion.

“Our results are all interpreted by a pulmonologist, Dr. Tony Haddad,” she said. “He will read each and every result, that way he can get them back to the ordering physician.”

Overall, Lively said the lab has been an incredible addition to the hospital.

“Any time you can have extra diagnostic tools to do your job better and to treat your patients, it’s always a people pleaser and it’s good for the organization as well,” she said. “We’re excited to have it.”

The lab is open weekly from Tuesday to Thursday.