Hospital to establish a 'center without walls' Facility for treating lung ailments to open at North Arundel

November 06, 1996|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,SUN STAFF

Don't go looking for North Arundel Hospital's newest facility. It won't exist -- at least in the traditional sense.

Hospital administrators have announced plans to open a lung center in about seven weeks to treat lung ailments. But the "center" will be a network of specialists.

"It will be a center without walls," said hospital spokesman Kevin Murnane.

"Specialists will refer patients to each other."

Residents will have a chance to tell hospital officials what services they think the new center should offer at the hospital's Healthy Lung Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 23 in the hospital's third-floor conference center.

"This is the first step in finding out from the community what services are needed in that center," Murnane said.

The hospital staff will conduct free screenings for carbon monoxide, lung capacity, blood oxygen levels and blood pressure readings.

Exhibits at the fair will offer information on new surgical procedures, how to stop smoking and the pulmonary rehabilitation-sleep center. Hospital staff and local support groups will answer questions.

The idea for the lung center was raised five years ago, when hospital administrators noticed a growing interest in an outpatient surgical procedure that helps respiratory patients who rely on oxygen tanks, Murnane said.

The procedure, which the hospital began offering last fall, -- eliminates visible oxygen tubes, said Sandy Thomas, manager of the hospital's respiratory care and pulmonary rehabilitation department.

The procedure takes 30 minutes and allows oxygen to be delivered to the patient more efficiently, Thomas said.

It also helps in another way.

"Most people who wear oxygen don't want to go out because they don't want people staring at them," Thomas said.

"It really works out great because they end up wearing their oxygen more, and studies have shown this improves life expectancy."

Pub Date: 11/06/96

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