What is a pediatric pulmonologist?
Pediatric pulmonologists treat children with breathing problems, which can be brief or lifelong, and affect children of any age.
At the Children’s Hospital at Scott & White, our pediatric pulmonologists work as part of a multidisciplinary team of experienced professionals that includes pediatric pulmonologists, a nurse practitioner, a nurse educator, a respiratory therapist, a nutritionist, a social worker, a Child Life specialist and a pharmacist who are devoted to the care of infants, children, and adolescents afflicted with breathing disorders.
The team practices a comprehensive and patient-centered approach to care, using state-of-the-art technologies for diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of respiratory illnesses.
What types of conditions does a pediatric pulmonologist treat?
Pediatric pulmonologists diagnose and treat children experiencing a wide range of breathing problems, which can include:
- Asthma—This condition occurs when the airways become inflamed. Asthma causes a child to have shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing. Asthma symptoms can be triggered by exposure to cigarette smoke, allergies, and sometimes exercise. Our pulmonologists treat asthma with a variety of medications.
- Cystic Fibrosis—Children with cystic fibrosis, or CF, have a protein that does not work properly along the lining of their lungs and other organs. This results in problems with clearing mucus from their lungs. Patients with CF must use special techniques to clear their lungs every day. The Children’s Hospital can offer a nationally recognized CF Center and management team.
- Children with Special Needs—Children with diseases that cause muscular weakness or lack of coordination may develop long-term lung problems related to obstructed breathing, difficulty swallowing, and recurrent infections. Many of these children are dependent on various machines to help them breathe and clear secretions.
- Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia—Children who are born prematurely or need aggressive breathing support for several weeks after birth can develop scarring in their lungs called bronchopulmonary dysplasia. These children are seen frequently by their pulmonologist after they are discharged from the hospital to help monitor their changing needs in oxygen and make sure they are recovering appropriately.
- Other conditions—We care for patients with lung injury, congenital malformations of the lungs, pulmonary hypertension, vascular disorders compressing the airway, and control-of-breathing disorders such as apnea caused by prematurity and central or obstructive sleep apnea.