Breathing easy for Respiratory Week

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 28, 2004

The lobby of Vaughan Regional Medical Center is decorated with purple balloons and information about the human respiratory system this week as part of the hospital’s annual celebration of National Respiratory Week.

In honor of this special occasion, Vaughan’s respiratory therapists have been manning a table in the lobby to conduct free health screenings.

From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. this week, the respiratory staff is measuring lung peak flows and oxygen saturation.

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“This is the first time we have had these public screenings,” said Vaughan respiratory therapist Stephanie Strong. “So far we’ve had a really good response.”

The peak flow tests, Strong said, are used to ensure the lungs are receiving plenty of oxygen and there are no problems with asthma.

The peak flow meter is a small, easy-to-use device that measures how fast a person blows out air after maximum inhalation.

The oxygen saturation test determines whether red blood cells are carrying enough oxygen to all the other internal organs in the body.

Around 95 to 100 percent of red blood cells carrying oxygen is considered normal.

Strong said if the test reveals anything lower than that, then it could be a sign of a lung disease or other problem.

Strong added that the tests are simple to do and only take a few minutes to complete.

The hospital’s main goal in celebrating Respiratory Week is to ensure citizens are in good health and receiving proper care.

“We are also giving away small prizes for those who take the tests,” Strong said.

Though Respiratory Week does not officially end until this Sunday, the free health screenings will conclude Friday at 1 p.m.