Evaluation in the Pulmonary and Allergy Clinic begins with a detailed history and physical examination. Diagnostic testing follows, as appropriate. From about age five years onward, children are usually able to do breathing tests successfully. Measurement of pulmonary function enables accurate diagnosis of asthma and permits monitoring the impact of therapy. Measurement of FVC and FEV-1 enables accurate diagnosis of asthma and subsequently permits monitoring the impact of therapy. Measurement of the Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) provides an index of airway inflammation, which again helps to confirm the diagnosis of asthma and to adjust inhaled anti-inflammatory therapy safely. Exercise challenge tests are carried out to assess exercise-induced bronchospasm, while for children with chronic lung disease, a six-minute walk test can detect progression over time.
When allergy is suspected, allergy skin tests are essential to define specific sensitivities and to guide counseling for allergen avoidance. Clinic staff devotes special attention to educating patients and families about non-pharmacologic steps to control their allergic condition, such as avoidance and use of tools in the home ranging for bed encasings to air purifiers.
We work collaboratively with other disciplines and medical specialties at Boston Medical Center to meet the needs of individual patients. Among the departments with whom we work are:
Testing procedures available in Pulmonary and Allergy Clinic include full spirometry, flow / volume loops, oximetry, six-minute walk test, fractional exhaled nitric oxide test, allergy skin testing for foods and environmental agents and referral for polysomnography.
Health Leads Asthma Swim Program
National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership
The Kids Fund
Health Fair Presentations at Boston Public Schools Events
Continued Medical Education for Medical and Nursing Professionals in Asthma Education and Case Management
Training for Home Visitors in Identifying Allergen and Irritant Asthma and Allergy Aggravators