We help kids to breathe easy
At Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, we feel fortunate to be a part of so many kids’ lives. The pulmonology and respiratory team cares for thousands of children each year in our inpatient and outpatient settings. Every patient is special to us.
We might meet for the first time in the pediatric intensive care unit, when your child is hospitalized for breathing troubles, or your child might come to one of the outpatient clinics for asthma diagnosis and treatment. We’re there for you wherever and whenever you need us — 24/7.
We’re with you from the start
Because we deal with a variety of lung and respiratory issues, there are many ways we can meet. Your first visit with a pulmonary specialist usually depends on the severity of your child’s problem. We might meet you:
- In critical care units. Seventy percent of children in critical care are there because of a breathing problem. We put breathing experts right in the pediatric intensive care units where your child needs us most. As a child recovers, we continue his or her care on the hospital floor, or in our outpatient clinics. A primary pulmonary provider oversees your case every step of the journey.
- In the hospital/In the PICU. Some children may be hospitalized for breathing problems. These children are placed under the expert care of pulmonary physicians and pulmonary nurse practitioners. Others may be in the hospital for non-respiratory reasons, and a doctor might ask for a consultation from one of the pulmonary and respiratory experts.
- In our clinics. Many respiratory and lung conditions, such as asthma and cystic fibrosis, require ongoing management. That’s where six outpatient clinics come in. We can conduct many breathing tests and procedures right in our clinics. You don’t need to travel far to receive care.
Preparing for a clinic visit
If your child’s care journey starts with the pulmonary and respiratory program, knowing what to expect helps make the first visit less stressful. Depending on your child’s age, prior to the visit talk about it with your child. Show your child a photo of the doctor from our directory. With younger kids, it may also help to draw pictures (stick figures work just fine!). Or act out the upcoming visit with a stuffed animal as the patient.
To help us complete initial paperwork and concentrate on your child’s care, it’s best to arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. That way, we can zip through the registration and insurance process (remember to bring your insurance card and co-pay) and concentrate on what’s most important to us—talking with you and taking great care of your child.
Your first clinic visit generally lasts about two hours. You’ll meet your primary pulmonologist. Your doctor will review your medical history and symptoms, and talk with you about any test results. Most patients go home with a diagnosis and a treatment plan. Your doctor might ask you to schedule a follow-up visit. Generally these are every three to six months, but sometimes more often. These visits usually take 30-60 minutes and ensure that your child’s condition is being managed well.
- Some tips to make your visit go smoothly:We will mail a clinic visit packet to you ahead of time so you know where to go and what to expect. Please review this packet carefully. If you have any questions, feel free to call our office.
- Most likely, the clinic will receive your medical records ahead of time so that your doctor can review them before your visit. If you have copies of your medical records or test results, bring them with you and we’ll be happy to take a look.
Partners in care
Your child may be under our care for a long time. We’re your partners through this journey. Please let us know if we can do anything else to help you or your child.