RESPIRATORY MEDICINE – ASTHMA CLINICS

ABOUT THE ASTHMA CLINICS

Calgary Respiratory Medicine provides outpatient Asthma Clinics in each of Calgary’s four adult hospitals, including diagnosis, management, treatment and education for patients living with asthma.

Our Asthma Clinics are supported by Respirologists, Respiratory Therapists, Certified Respiratory Educators (CRE) and Pharmacists whose common goal is to help patients with asthma live symptom free.

Each clinic is associated with Level 3 Pulmonary Function Labs and the most advanced technology available to measure how well lungs are working or to detect uncontrolled inflammation in the lungs, including:

  • Spirometry
  • Methacholine challenge testing for asthma diagnosis
  • Induced sputum analysis for assessment of difficult to control asthma (Calgary’s Dr. Richard Leigh was a pioneer in the development of this technique and we are proud to be one of only five sites in Canada to offer this specialized testing)
  • Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test providing detailed information about cardiopulmonary health

Asthma does not have to control your life. With appropriate treatment, most people with asthma can be free of symptoms and participate fully in the activities they enjoy.

Controlled asthma, even for those with severe symptoms, is the main goal of our dedicated team of nationally and internationally recognized experts.

SEVERE ASTHMA CLINICS

For patients suffering from severe or uncontrolled asthma, we offer specialty clinics with multidisciplinary teams at the Foothills Medical Centre and Rockyview General Hospital. Patients seen at a Severe Asthma Clinic have greater disease management options including advanced therapeutic medications (biologics), specialized treatment including bronchial thermoplasty, and access to mental health support groups. In most cases, our Respirologists can significantly improve or eliminate the asthma-related symptoms these patients experience.

Signs of uncontrolled asthma include visits to the emergency room, nighttime awakening, and using a rescue inhaler multiple times per week.

ADOLESCENT TRANSITION CLINICS

Adolescents with moderate to severe asthma previously seen at the Alberta Children’s Hospital who are ready to transition to the adult clinic are now directly referred to the Asthma Transition Clinic at Rockyview General Hospital. This is a weekly clinic directed towards the ongoing care of young patients as they transit into the adult healthcare system. The clinic provides support through a multitude of specialists including Respiratory Physicians, Respiratory Therapists, and Certified Respiratory Educators, if needed.

REFERRAL CRITERIA

Access to the Asthma Clinics is by referral only. Urgent referrals denote patients seen in an Emergency Department or who are admitted to hospital for asthma symptoms. Other referral options include:

  • For query asthma or improved asthma management: family physician referral through Pulmonary Central Access and Triage (PCAT)
  • Patients with severe uncontrolled asthma: Respirologist or specialty care referral
  • Patients transitioning from pediatric to adult care: Respirologist or specialty care referral

Typical wait times are:

  • 3 months to 1 year for a general appointment
  • Less than 1 month for an urgent referral

CERTIFIED RESPIRATORY EDUCATOR ACCESS

Your initial clinic appointment may include an assessment with a CRE to learn proper inhaler techniques and to receive educational information and materials about managing asthma symptoms.

RESOURCES FOR PATIENTS AND CAREGIVERS