Specialists and Care Centers
Respiratory Failure Specialists and Care Centers
Northwestern Medicine pulmonary specialists combine leading clinical practice with groundbreaking research in the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory failure.
Chronic Respiratory Failure and Home Ventilation Program
The focus of our program is to support those with chronic respiratory weakness that is frequently associated with conditions such as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), muscular dystrophy, as well as other neuromuscular conditions. Our active clinical trial program brings new treatments and procedures to light and our pulmonary physicians* offer innovation and expertise in the treatment of respiratory failure. We frequently support those with spinal cord injury, complex spinal cord conditions, brain-related breath disorders, central hypoventilation and severe sleep apnea, both central and obstructive.
The pulmonologists in our program frequently work in concert with other members of our pulmonary division. Our program supports the needs of these patients by facilitating both home-based ventilation and airway clearance therapy. This aggressive home-based support is unique and benefits our patients by allowing more care at home and less need for hospitalization. We facilitate home-based ventilation and airway clearance therapy for those with pulmonary conditions, such as:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Severe interstitial lung disease
- Pre-lung transplant
- Cystic fibrosis
- Pulmonary hypertension
We have the ability to facilitate the use of many devices for home-based ventilation, including all types of positive airway pressure devices (PAPs) and mechanical ventilators for home use. Our group has a specialty focus on disorders of the diaphragm, the fundamental muscle that supports breathing. We have a multi-mode approach for both diagnosis and treatment for diaphragm weakness. In concert with our colleagues in Neurology, we can provide advanced diagnostic testing in both our Sleep Laboratory and Neurologic Testing Center. We have teamed with the Thoracic Surgery department to provide the option of diaphragm pacing when needed.
The goal of our program is to enable patients to effectively manage their respiratory failure and lead full and active lives. This program is the only one of its kind in Chicago to provide diaphragmatic pacemakers, which are used to help patients breathe following complications from spinal cord injuries.