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Respiratory Therapy Services

The Respiratory Therapy department offers services to in-patients experiencing issues with their breathing in acute situations. We also offer services to out-patients to diagnose breathing disorders and to educate patients on management of their breathing condition. The Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) is located in the Main Level Outpatient clinic. If you are scheduled for a Pulmonary Function Test or other clinic visit you would enter the hospital through the Main Entrance and proceed to the Outpatient Clinics.

What is a Pulmonary Function Test?

A Pulmonary Function Test is a diagnostic tool used to determine if you have Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (C.O.P.D.) or other lung conditions, such as Pulmonary Fibrosis. A referral is required from your Primary Care Provider.The test requires you to sit in a booth similar to a telephone booth where multiple breathing tests are done to assess your lung function. The RRT will coach you through the test and will administer a medication, Ventolin, if your Primary Health Provider has ordered it as part of the test.

We request that you refrain from taking your breathing inhalers for at least 12 hours prior to testing and that if you smoke, please do not smoke or vape for at least 1 hour prior to the test. You will be mailed an instruction sheet with specific details and your appointment time.

Pulmonary Function Testing Equipment

Talk to your Primary Care Provider to discuss your breathing symptoms. Some people may notice breathing problems with a change in weather, environment or activity. Symptoms can include:

  • Increased cough
  • Increased shortness of breath that is unusual for you
  • Wheeze or chest tightness
  • Frequent chest infections or colds
  • History of smoking

A simple quiz to take is the Canadian Lung Health Test, especially if you are over 40 years of age and have been a smoker at some point in your life.

  • Do you cough regularly?
  • Do you cough up phlegm regularly?
  • Do even simple chores make you Short of Breath?
  • Do you wheeze when you exert yourself? (exercise or go up a small flight of stairs)
  • Do you get many colds and do your colds last longer than your friend’s colds?

If you answered yes to any of these questions you should speak to your Primary Care Provider about a breathing test.

C.O.P.D. (or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a condition where there are limitations to airflow in the lungs, which leaves an individual feeling breathless. C.O.P.D. is a general term for conditions like Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis. C.O.P.D. often includes a chronic cough and excessive phlegm production. The individual can experience frequent lung attacks and infections that can progress the condition.

Management of C.O.P.D. is important to maintain and improve quality of life. As a participant in the Cardio-Respiratory Rehabilitation Program, our Respiratory Therapist will help you understand the disease, ensure you have the optimal medication and show you effective methods to cope within the realm of your disease with the goal to prevent your C.O.P.D. from getting worse. 

If you would like to learn more about how to manage your C.O.P.D. please ask your Primary Care Provider to refer you to our program or call 613-354-3301 ext. 409 to learn more about programs available to you.

Our Respiratory Therapist can also help you if you have other lung conditions such as Asthma and Pulmonary Fibrosis.

The Respiratory Therapy department offers smoking interventions for all in-patients to help manage cravings for nicotine while in hospital. With our help, patients can be comfortable and remain smoke free while in hospital to comply with smoke free and vape free property policies at the hospital.

Another in-patient program we offer is the BREATHE Program. Patients with C.O.P.D. can struggle with maintaining a healthy balance in their breathing. With the help of our RRT, C.O.P.D. patients will learn how to manage their C.O.P.D. through the development of an action plan, inhaler education, breathing exercises and a community outreach program which has been designed to provide close follow up after discharge from hospital. This ensures continuous improvement of breathing using telemedicine.

Most patients in the BREATHE Program also take advantage of the Hospital’s Cardio-Respiratory Rehabilitation Program (/cardiacrehabilitation) and emotional support available through Hospice L&A (

Our vision with these programs is to optimize the patient in their home environment.

Lung Health Website Links

Ontario Lung Association
Asthma Canada
Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
Smokers Help Line
Air Quality Ontario