Pulmonary Critical Care

Critical Care Support Services works with patients who have breathing issues, including those who require ventilator support. A division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Michigan, we work with every Intensive Care Unit at the University of Michigan Health System, from Neurology to the Trauma Burn Unit. Our compassionate, licensed respiratory therapists provide cutting-edge treatments, while putting patients' needs first.

Who Requires Pulmonary Critical Care Support Services?

Patients who need respiratory care often have a condition, such as:

Our dedicated respiratory therapists may also perform services that include:

  • Delivering inhaled medications from bronchodialtors (inhaled medicines that can open the airways and ease shortness of breath) to antibiotics
  • Providing respiratory support, including the delivery of oxygen
  • Providing ventilator support to assist patients with breathing – both non-invasive ventilation (via a face or nose mask) and invasive ventilation (via a tracheostomy tube)

Respiratory Care Treatments

Our respiratory therapists provide a variety of inpatient treatments:

Oxygen therapy: For people not getting enough oxygen, oxygen therapy – through a facemask or tube inserted in the nostrils – can be administered either in the hospital or at home. A variety of devices are available for use at home depending on your level of mobility. Your doctor will select one that’s right for you.

Inhaled medication therapy: Inhaled drugs reach the airways quickly and directly, such as bronchodialtors to open the airways, antifungal medications and antibiotics. They can also be use for surgical patients on a ventilator, who cannot take medications on their own.

Lung volume expansion therapyFor patients who need to expand their lungs or to keep them clear after surgery, using techniques such as incentive spirometry (a device which measures inhaled air) or CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure involves wearing a mask on the face to blow pressurized air into the airway to keep it from collapsing).

ECMO (extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation): The brainchild of Dr. Robert Bartlett, a University of Michigan professor of Surgery, ECMO is a sophisticated technology that’s not available widely. A modified version of a heart-lung bypass machine, ECMO does the work of a patient’s failing heart and lungs for a period of weeks, sometimes months – often long enough for the heart and lungs to rest and recover, increasing the patient’s chance of survival.

The University of Michigan is an ECMO referral center. The most difficult cases come here, not only for our depth of knowledge in ECMO technology and care of patients, but for life-saving programs that work in conjunction with ECMO, such as Survival Flight, which flies the sickest patients from around the country on transportable ECMO technology.

Research for Critical Care Support Services

Investigators at the University of Michigan are actively involved in research on chronically and ventilated patients. Cutting-edge research studies and clinical trials are regularly available to patients who qualify. Visit UMHealthResearch.org for current opportunities.

Make an Appointment

To schedule an appointment, call us at 734-647-9342. To schedule an appointment with the PULSE clinic described above, call the same number and request an appointment specifically with Dr. McSparron.