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Pulmonary Medicine


Children’s National is ranked by U.S.News & World Report as one of the nation’s best pediatric hospitals for pulmonary medicine because of our expertise in the field and the quality of care provided to patients and their families.

Division Chief Anastassios Koumbourlis, MD, has extensive experience in pediatric pulmonary medicine with special interests in congenital lung and airway anomalies, chest wall deformities, and pulmonary complications of neuromuscular and sickle cell disease. He also treats patients in the division’s Cystic Fibrosis Center.

The division’s team provides consultation and behavioral interventions for patients with chronic and acute respiratory diseases such as custic fibrosis and asthma as well as pulmonary patients with sickle cell and neuromuscular disorders. The consultation service includes evaluation of psychological, social, and educational function and coping with stress of illness. We also offer condition specific programs that address the needs of children with more complex disorders.

The division’s pediatric pulmonologists, nurses, and respiratory care practitioners provide comprehensive care for children with pulmonary (lung) diseases and related conditions, including:
• Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)
• Chest wall disorders
• Chronic (long term) cough
• Congenital (birth) disorders
• Ciliary dyskinesia
• Cystic fibrosis
• Pneumonia
• Pulmonary hemosiderosis
• Pulmonary infections
• Respiratory (breathing) system disorders
• Stridor (unusual breathing sounds)

The diagnostic pulmonary laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility staffed by credentialed respiratory therapists who have advanced specialized training in pulmonary diagnostic testing. Our specialists are able to perform a wide range of pulmonary function assessments, diagnostic, and therapeutic services, including flexible laryngoscopy and bronchoscopy, procedures that allow physicians to examine the internal airway.

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Special Programs and Clinics

Children’s National is recognized for our expertise in many respiratory illnesses and related disorders. To provide the most appropriate care, the division’s special programs provide additional support and resources for patients and their families.

The Cystic Fibrosis Center at Children’s National
Children’s National has the only cystic fibrosis center in the Washington, DC, area accredited by the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The accreditation review process occurs annually to ensure that the center meets the highest quality care standards. The center’s dedicated team is also active in clinical trials and original research for new therapies and working towards a cure for cystic fibrosis. To learn more about enrolling your child is a current study, speak with your child’s physician.

Infant Apnea Program
The program’s team of nurse practitioners, pulmonologists, nurses, a social worker and a nutritionist evaluate and care for the division’s smallest patients. The Infant Apnea program treats premature newborns who are at a greater risk of developing certain respiratory conditions, including apnea of prematurity, chronic conditions such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and history of Apparent Life-Threatening Events (ALTE), and infants on home monitoring for any form of apnea. We also can help parents coordinate equipment and home health care services.

Collaboration with the Sickle Cell Clinic
The pulmonary team works closely with the Sickle Cell Clinic at Children’s National to provide evaluation and regular follow-up for all sickle cell patients with respiratory complications. In addition, the pulmonologists, together with their colleagues in the Division of Hematology, are involved in original research on the effects of sickle cell disease in the lungs and the role of asthma. Speak with your child’s physician to learn about current research studies and clinical trials.

Neuromuscular Disorders Program
The Neuromuscular Disorders program has a comprehensive team which includes pulmonologists, respiratory therapists, and nurses who provide evaluation and continued care of patients with neuromuscular disorders, emphasizing the early introduction and teaching of airway clearance techniques and various forms of non-invasive ventilatory support.

Home Ventilator Program
When your child needs ventilator support at home, our pulmonologists and respiratory therapists can help you with management and maintenance of home ventilators. The team evaluates equipment and makes changes for the escalation or weaning off the ventilator support depending on your child’s particular needs.

Sleep Disorders Program
Sleep medicine specialists from various disciplines collaborate to provide clinical evaluation, laboratory diagnosis and treatment for patients with a wide spectrum of sleep disorders (structural, neurologic and behavioral). As part of the Sleep Disorders Program, patients who need an overnight sleep study for diagnosis and evaluation can stay in our family and patient-focused Sleep Lab. Parents can also stay overnight with their child, a reassuring arrangement for both.

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- Departments & Programs - Children's National Medical Center