Respiratory Function Testing

Brisbane North Lung Function provides a wide range of comprehensive diagnostic Respiratory Function Tests (RFTs) for assessment of various conditions. Testing requires little patient preparation and usually takes half an hour, depending on additional tests required (see general considerations for lung function testing for further information)

Two testing facilities are available at the Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital (HSNPH) for both out-patients and in-patients.

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Indications for RFT's

  1. Asthma assessment (including Mannitol Challenge for pre-employment Occupational Assessment).
  2. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) diagnosis and assessment.
  3. Interstitial Lung Disease assessment (including Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis [IPF] and Sarcoidosis).
  4. Pre-operative risk assessment and diagnosis (e.g. before cardio-thoracic surgery, bariatric surgery or upper abdominal surgery in patients with chronic lung disease).
  5. Neuro-muscular disease assessment to establish likelihood of respiratory muscle weakness leading to low oxygen saturation during sleep.
  6. Cardiovascular disease assessment for diagnosis of causes of breathlessness and monitoring of lung function on cardiac medication (e.g. beta-blockers, amiodarone and ACE-inhibitors).
  7. Monitoring of lung function whilst undergoing therapy which may cause lung injury (e.g. chemotherapy such as Bleomycin, immunosuppressive therapy such as Methotrexate).
  8. Medico-legal assessment for diagnosis and measurement of Impairment (e.g. occupational lung diseases such as asbestos-related conditions or Disability Pension assessments).

Diagnosis and Management of Respiratory Problems

Dr James McKeon provides a consultative service at HSNPH for assessment and management of various respiratory problems for both out-patients and in-patients.

He treats a broad range of acute and chronic respiratory conditions including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, bronchiectasis and pneumonia.

He provides care for patients with pneumothoraxes and pleural effusions, including insertion and management of intercostal catheters.
He sees patients referred by General Practitioners and other health professionals for consultation to provide diagnosis and management of various pulmonary disorders. He assess patients whose x-rays have shown pulmonary nodules or masses. He provides services for investigation of cases of suspected lung cancer.

He accepts referrals from doctors working in the Emergency Room at HSNPH and also from other ER specialists working in other hospitals.

He accepts referrals from other clinicians working in various hospitals in Queensland when patients wish to be transferred to Brisbane for further care or assessment.

Peri Operative Assessment

Dr James McKeon sees patients referred from various surgeons for peri-operative risk assessment, pre-operative optimization of medical problems and peri-operative management of post-operative medical problems (e.g. post-operative pneumonia). He works in close liaison with various cardio-thoracic surgeons at HSNPH where he provides pre-operative assessment of medical problems and peri-operative management of post-operative thoracic and medical problems.

Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures for Respiratory Disease

Dr James McKeon performs bronchoscopies at the Endoscopy Unit at HSNPH for diagnosis of various respiratory conditions such as bronchial tumours, lung cancer and infectious lung disease. He uses Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) to assist in diagnostic procedures when appropriate. He has experience in therapeutic procedures for the removal of inhaled foreign bodies and mucous plugs by bronchoscopy.

He has experience in the drainage of pleural effusions by simple aspiration or by the insertion of small or large-bore intercostal catheters. He utilizes ultrasound techniques for pleural procedures when appropriate.

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