Respiratory Therapy

>>Respiratory Therapy
Respiratory Therapy2018-04-24T13:31:10+00:00

Restoring breathing

Memorial Regional Health’s Respiratory Therapy Program delivers both diagnostic and therapeutic treatments in the inpatient and outpatient settings of the hospital. Therapists also perform diagnostic tests ordered by physicians.

Respiratory Therapy:

  • Diagnoses lung and breathing disorders and recommend treatment methods

  • Completes chest physical exams to determine what kind of therapy is needed

  • Collaborates with physicians in recommending an effective therapy

  • Analyzes breath, tissue and blood specimens to determine levels of oxygen and other gases

  • Manages ventilators and artificial airway devices for patients who cannot breathe normally on their own

  • Educates patients and families about lung disease so they can maximize their recovery

  • Teaches patients how to use breathing devices


  • EEG (electroencephalography)

  • EKG (electrocardiogram)

  • Cardiac Event Monitor

  • 24-hour Holter Monitor

  • Cardiac Stress Test (treadmill)

  • Echocardiogram Stress Test

  • PADnet (peripheral artery disease testing)

  • Pulmonary Function Testing

  • ABG (arterial blood gas sampling)

  • Apnea Link (sleep study screening)

  • Sleep Studies

The Suction Clinic at MRH

The Suction Clinic at MRH is designed for those times when your newborn or young baby is having trouble breathing due to excessive mucus caused by an upper respiratory infection. Respiratory therapists use a nasopharyngeal suction machine to suck out secretions. They also evaluate your child by counting the respiratory rate and checking for oxygen saturation.

The Suction Clinic is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Parents visit their doctor and get a prescription for the clinic. It can be used up to 4 times a day for a week, no appointment needed.

The cost is $128 per visit, and the visit is billed to insurance. Patients check in at the ED main desk and indicate they are there for the suction clinic.

Sleep Studies

Sleep Studies

Memorial Regional Health offers sleep studies for common disorders. Our sleep room is dedicated to sleep studies with a comfortable, home-like environment including a high-quality bed and private bathroom.

Sleep studies are offered Monday to Friday, and weekends as needed. We also offer sleep studies during the day for night shift workers.

For a sleep study, the patient is hooked up to several electrodes that measure obstructive events, including drops in blood oxygen, poor flow when breathing, halts in breathing and more. During a sleep study, a technician observes the sleeper, graphing all four stages of sleep. Results are then read by a pulmonologist or sleep specialist and shared with your provider.

About Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common reason for a sleep study. During obstructive sleep apnea, the airway collapses, causing shallow breathing or a pause in breathing. Pauses can last a few seconds or minutes and can occur 30 or more times in one hour. The person starts breathing again, sometimes with a choking sound or loud snort.

Because of interrupted sleep, the person is tired and drowsy during the day. They may experience morning headaches, dry mouth upon waking, difficulty concentrating, memory loss and irritability. A sleep partner might notice loud or frequent snoring, silent pauses in breathing, and choking or gasping sounds. Getting a sleep study is often the only way to diagnose sleep apnea. A CPAP machine is one solution to sleep apnea.

Sleep studies are also performed to diagnose central sleep apnea where the nerves from the brain do not properly signal the muscles in the airways to work. This is seen in people with brain injury or stroke. Besides sleep apnea, other common sleep disorders include insomnia, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy and night terrors.

If it becomes obvious during your sleep study that you have sleep apnea, we will fit you with a CPAP machine and measure your breathing for the remainder of the night. This helps determine if  a CPAP machine is effective, and lets us get just the right fit and pressure to stop the apnea and restore restful sleep.

Disorders beyond Sleep Apnea

While sleep apnea is the most common condition discovered in a sleep study, sleep studies also help diagnose restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy. If narcolepsy is suspected, you will be scheduled for a follow up wakefulness test.

Initiating a Sleep Study

If you believe you may have sleep apnea, share your symptoms with your primary care provider. He or she can then place an order with MRH for an APNEA Link device, which you can pick up and wear at home for a night to help determine if you need a sleep study. The device monitors your oxygen level, nasal air flow and respiratory effort, with results sent to your provider.

If a sleep study is recommended, your provider makes the request, and we call you to schedule. Sleep studies are offered all nights of the week, as needed.

Note to Providers: You can request a cardiopulmonary order sheet by calling Cardiopulmonary Services. Once received, fax in the order indicating an APNEA Link or sleep study.

We can help. The first step is a sleep study. The next is reclaiming your life.


Memorial Regional Health – Cardiopulmonary Services
Selena Hernandez, Polysomnographic Technologist
750 Hospital Loop
Craig, CO 81625
Phone: 970-826-2211
Fax: 970-826-3159


Memorial Regional Health
750 Hospital Loop,
Craig, CO 81625
Phone: 970-826-2400
Fax: 970-826-2429

Cardiopulmonary hospital staff
Enterprise Wide Scheduling

Once your health care provider has determined that respiratory testing is necessary, the order can be sent to our Enterprise Wide Scheduling Department.

Phone: 970-826-3150
Fax: 970-826- 3159