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Asthma Center and Pulmonary Function Testing Service

The Division of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) also houses a specialized Asthma Center, where we treat what is the most common chronic disease of childhood, as well as the number one cause of pediatric hospital admissions. The Bronx has one of the highest rates of childhood asthma in the country, and thousands of children are rushed to the CHAM Emergency Department for specialized asthma treatment each year. Our team of physicians and pediatric respiratory medicine experts is committed to preventing these emergency hospitalizations. We take a unique approach to asthma treatment, based on the idea that it is a controllable condition.

Controlling a common childhood condition

Asthma causes the lungs to become more sensitive than normal. It can be triggered by:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Dust and mold
  • Pets
  • Viruses
  • Exercise
  • Environmental conditions

As the breathing tubes become irritated, the muscles squeeze the tubes and the linings of the tubes become inflamed and swollen, narrowing the passageway for air.

Up to 80 percent of children with asthma develop symptoms before age five, including:

  • Coughing at night or after exercise
  • Coughing for several weeks after a cold
  • Feeling out of breath after exercise
  • A wheezing sound that is detectable with a stethoscope.

While there is no single test for asthma, we can diagnosis it by taking a patient's history, performing a physical examination and conducting pulmonary function tests and exercise tests. We invite parents to play an important role, as the observations made by caregivers can help doctors to make a proper diagnosis.

After we have diagnosed asthma, we implement a care management plan that often includes specialized environmental management, such as providing children with a smoke free environment, and daily medication to protect the lungs, as well as medication to have on hand in case of an attack. We aim to help children and their caregivers identify possible triggers, in order to avoid full fledged asthma attacks and the cumulative damage they cause, and to help children to have the highest quality of life possible.

Asthma and Obesity: We offer a specialized program for asthmatic children who are obese. We promote physical activity thereby facilitating weight loss and improved asthma.

Asthma and the Community: We are actively involved in asthma programs in the community and advocate improved access to care for children with asthma.

Cutting edge pulmonary function testing (PFT) equipment

Our state-of-the-art pulmonary function testing laboratory offers equipment for comprehensive evaluation for children with respiratory diseases. We are one of only two centers in the New York metropolitan area equipped to perform PFTs on infants. We also offer exercise testing, six-minute walk test and methocholine challenge. Using these tests, we can diagnose respiratory conditions, such as:

  • Asthma
  • Restrictive lung disease
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Cystic fibrosis

PFTs are important for monitoring children's response to many different types of therapies and adjusting them accordingly. We also work in collaboration with other divisions within CHAM to provide PFTs to patients during their pre-surgical evaluations, and as part of routine monitoring for those patients receiving chemotherapy treatment.

Our physicians are also able to identify the causes of exercise limitation through physiology testing, which measure patients' pulmonary and cardiac function while they are exercising to maximum capacity. We can then design a specific treatment plan tailored to their particular condition.  

Contact information - Asthma Center and Pulmonary Function Testing Service

The Children's Hospital at Montefiore
3415 Bainbridge Avenue
Bronx, NY 10467

Patient Appointments: 718-741-2450
Directions to CHAM