Respiratory Failure

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Norton Pulmonary Specialists is a leader treating lung conditions, including respiratory failure, for patients in Louisville and Southern Indiana. We have the experience and training to identify the cause of your respiratory failure and work with you to find an effective treatment.

Respiratory failure means you either have low oxygen levels in your blood, high carbon dioxide levels or both. Respiratory insufficiency occurs when the lungs cannot breathe in enough oxygen or expel enough carbon dioxide.

Respiratory failure is typically caused by an underlying ailment — one that may be related only indirectly to your respiratory system. With Norton Pulmonary Specialists you gain access to the experience and viewpoints of a comprehensive group of specialist physicians from across the Norton Healthcare system.

Our board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists have the experience to determine the cause of your respiratory failure and will develop a customized treatment plan with you to minimize progression of the condition and ease your symptoms.

What Is Respiratory Failure?

Acute respiratory failure happens suddenly and is short term.  Chronic respiratory failure develops gradually and is an ongoing condition needing long-term treatment.

In either case, not enough oxygen is passing from your lungs to your bloodstream, or your lungs aren’t expelling enough carbon dioxide.

Causes of respiratory failure include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and spinal cord injuries that damage the nerves that control your breathing.

Respiratory failure symptoms include shortness of breath, rapid breathing and feeling like you can’t breathe in enough air. Severe cases may include a bluish color on your skin, lips, and fingernails; confusion and sleepiness.

Respiratory Failure Treatment

The first order of treatment is getting oxygen to your lungs and removing toxic carbon dioxide from your body to minimize further damage to your organs.

To identify and treat the underlying cause of your respiratory failure, the physicians at Norton Pulmonary Specialists can collect viewpoints from physicians from other disciplines across the Norton Healthcare system.

We meet as a team every week to collaborate on all of our cases, to bring you comprehensive care. When you work with Norton Pulmonary Specialists you work with a team of research specialists, physicians and medical professionals dedicated to finding the best treatment for you.

Care That’s Convenient for You

  • Our staff includes interventional pulmonologists who are trained and experienced in minimally invasive diagnostics and treatment, including robotic-assisted bronchoscopy, meaning you’ll have access to advanced technology for your care.
  • We have seven convenient Louisville-area locations: Northeastern Louisville, downtown Louisville, Newburg, Pleasure Ridge Park and Mount Washington, Kentucky; in Southern Indiana, Jeffersonville and Scottsburg.
  • We provide pulmonary care and respiratory management of critical care patients at Norton Audubon Hospital, Norton Brownsboro Hospital and Norton Hospital.
  • Norton Healthcare’s pulmonary rehabilitation program has three locations in Louisville and is certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
  • We work as a team with referring physicians, including pediatricians.
  • Medicare, Medicaid and most major commercial insurance plans are accepted.

About Norton Pulmonary Specialists

The board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians with Norton Pulmonary Specialists are leaders in caring for Louisville and Southern Indiana patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and other lung diseases.

  • More than two dozen board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians with extensive experience specialize in diagnosis and management of all forms of lung diseases and sleep disorders, so you can get the care you need.
  • The Norton Pulmonary Specialists team pursues leading-edge treatments, and our specialists are investigators on many clinical trials that give patients access to the latest treatments.
  • Our specialists use robotic-assisted bronchoscopy to perform minimally invasive biopsies of the lung, which allows for greater precision during the important diagnostic procedure.  
  • Norton Pulmonary Specialists is accredited by the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Thoracic Society, the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
  • Our providers will give you a precise diagnosis and develop a customized treatment plan for your lung condition, so you can get back to living your best life.
  • For asthma, your physician will work with you to develop a written asthma action plan to help you manage your symptoms.
  • Medicare, Medicaid and most major commercial insurance plans are accepted.
  • Communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions and more anytime from a computer or mobile device with a free Norton MyChart account.

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