Respiratory care research comes at crucial time

University of Hawaiʻi

nursing students with mannequin

In the fall of every year, Kapiʻolani Community College’s award winning respiratory care program has observed Respiratory Care Week with live demonstrations and exhibits. The annual event recognizes the respiratory care profession and promotes awareness of lung health issues and practices. However, this year the respiratory care practitioners decided to share stories online, including an exciting research finding.

Jung Eun Kim
Jung Eun Kim

It is difficult to diagnose chronic lung disease, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, because it is not easy to monitor and measure inflammation. Health Sciences Instructor Jung Eun Kim felt it was often too late to alter respiratory dysfunction when a patient’s pulmonary function testing was delayed.

This prompted Kim to explore possible associations between pulmonary function test measurements and exhaled carbon monoxide levels as an indicator of generalized inflammation. Kim’s study, “Evaluating Endogenous Carbon Monoxide (CO) Production as an Indicator for Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT)” was published by Respiratory Care, the official monthly science journal of the American Association of Respiratory Care.

Kim’s study is a valuable treatise. Lisa Radak, dean of health academic programs said, “Diagnosis and treatment for chronic lung disease at the onset of the disease are critical to providing quality of life for those affected. Jung’s research to identify another indicator of potential chronic lung disease, which indicates the need for a pulmonary function test, comes at a crucial time during a global health crisis.”

Kim approaches his profession in a holistic way. Respiratory care is a discipline that specializes in the promotion of optimum cardiopulmonary function. Nutrition, exercise, restful sleep and relaxation activities are all vital to a healthy heart and lungs. Moreover, because damage to the lung may be treated but cannot be reversed, Kim emphasizes preventive care.

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