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Treating Respiratory Disorders

As a parent, watching a child suffer from a respiratory disorder can be frightening and worrisome. Our respiratory specialists provide compassionate care for a wide-range of pediatric respiratory disorders. We also oversee one of the largest cystic fibrosis programs in the country.

Find a Pediatric Specialist


  • Aspiration lung injury
  • Asthma and difficult to treat asthma
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Chronic cough
  • Chronic ventilatory support
  • Congenital lung problems
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Noisy breathing
  • Respiratory complications of neuromuscular disease
  • Recurrent pneumonia
  • Sleep disorders, including sleep apnea

Pulmonary Care Clinics

General Pulmonary Clinic

Includes inpatient and outpatient consultations for:

  • asthma,
  • chronic cough,
  • dyspnea,
  • recurrent pneumonia,
  • persistent abnormal chest radiography, and
  • noisy breathing.

Asthma Clinic

Offers a comprehensive evaluation for children with a diagnosis of asthma. This evaluation typically includes:

  • pulmonary function testing,
  • ancillary laboratory studies as indicated,
  • specific recommendations for treatment, and
  • a detailed home asthma action plan.

Asthma education for parents and patients (including pathogenesis of asthma, rationale for treatment, inhaler/spacer technique training, and home management plans) is integrated into the clinic visits.

Tracheostomy Ventilator Dependent Clinic

A multidisciplinary clinic conducted once a month at Primary Children's Hospital. This clinic is intended for patients who require optimization of tracheostomy and ventilator support, as well as weaning off respiratory support. Patients are managed cooperatively by pulmonologists, ENT/otolaryngologists, and comprehensive care/rehabilitation medicine. A social worker and a respiratory therapist are integral members of the team.

Patients are seen by referral only, in this clinic. Please have your physician arrange for a clinic visit by calling the tracheostomy ventilator program coordinator at 801-662-2691.

Cystic Fibrosis Clinic

Intermountain Cystic Fibrosis Center clinic at PCH is a multi-disciplinary clinic designed to provide comprehensive cystic fibrosis (CF) care for the pediatric patient. This is the only Cystic Fibrosis Foundation accredited site for pediatric CF care in Utah.

Adult CF care is offered at University of Utah Health. This clinic is intended for patients with a confirmed diagnosis of cystic fibrosis or CFTR Related Metabolic Syndrome. Patients who do not have a confirmed diagnosis of cystic fibrosis should have testing ordered by their physician to assure that this is the appropriate clinic to be seen.

This Cystic Fibrosis Center clinic staff includes pediatric pulmonology, pediatric gastroenterology, clinical nurse coordination, registered dietitian, respiratory therapist, medical social work, and access to clinical research protocols.

To schedule a clinic appointment call 801-213-3599 or 801-662-1765.

  • Patients fewer than six months of age are seen monthly.
  • Patients older than six months but less than 12 months are seen every two months.
  • Patients over 12 months of age are seen every three months.

Patients who have not been seen or had spectrum cultures in the past three months will be asked to schedule during an appointment time reserved for patients with multiply resistant organism. Patients with multiple resistant organisms (MRSA, B. Cepacia, Multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa) will be scheduled at times specifically reserved for patients with multiple resistant organisms.

Patients fewer than 24 months of age who have been identified through newborn screening will be seen in the Newborn Screening Clinic unless specifically requested to do otherwise.

New Patients

In order to facilitate a timely visit for general pulmonary clinic and asthma clinic, please see and comply with the following:

  • Arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.
  • Send or bring a referral to your clinic visit.
  • Bring a disk of any chest X ray imaging performed at facilities outside of Intermountain Healthcare.
  • Bring all of your child’s medications with you to clinic.

What to expect when you come for a CF Clinic

Patients new to the CF clinic are encouraged to provide copies of previous clinical notes, sweat chloride testing, genetic testing, lung function testing, microbiology, and clinical laboratory testing prior to their first visit. This allows familiarization with the patient’s specific needs prior to be seen.

Patients seen in this clinic are directly sent to clinic exam rooms and are discouraged from waiting in common areas. It is important to arrive at your scheduled time to minimize possible contact of CF patients entering or leaving the clinic. The multidisciplinary team will see the patient in the exam room and be wearing gowns, gloves and if appropriate masks.

What is a sweat test or genetic testing?

A doctor who sees the symptoms of CF will order a sweat test or a genetic test to confirm the diagnosis. A sweat test is the most common test used to diagnose cystic fibrosis and is considered the diagnostic "gold standard." A small electrode is placed on the skin (usually on the arm) to stimulate the sweat glands. Sweat is then collected and the amount of chloride, a component of salt in the sweat, is measured. A high level of chloride means that the person has cystic fibrosis.

To schedule sweat chloride tests, call the Primary Children's Outpatient Laboratory at 801-662-2122 Monday through Friday between 7 am and 6 pm. Tests are performed by appointment Monday through Friday between 8 am and 4 pm.

What to bring to bring for Tracheostomy Ventilator Clinic

Patients are required to bring their ventilator, spare tracheostomy tubes, suction apparatus, oximeter, and portable oxygen with them to clinic. If feedings will need to be administered during the visit, please bring necessary feeding pumps and formula.

If your child has received medical care outside of Primary Children’s Hospital, please bring copies of medical records. Reports of laboratory tests and X-rays performed at a different hospital are very helpful and should be brought. We encourage all care providers for the child, including any home care nurse to attend the clinic. Clinic visits can take three to four hours, so please plan your schedule accordingly.