Pediatric Pulmonology

Help your child breathe easier and get back to doing what he or she loves. At UNM Children’s Hospital, our pediatric pulmonologists excel in treating everything from asthma to cystic fibrosis.

We’ll create a personalized care plan for your child to manage his/her breathing disorder long-term.

Should your child be diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, he or she will have access to UNM Health’s Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Center—the only Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-accredited center in New Mexico.

Your Pulmonary Care Team

You and your child will work with specialists who will be there beyond the diagnosis. Because a breathing condition can affect all aspects of a child’s life, our team includes:

  • Board-certified pulmonologists
  • Nurses
  • Nutritionists
  • Pharmacists
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Social workers

Based on your child’s symptoms and diagnosis, we may also consult with other specialists in departments such as our sleep disorders center, child life program, and allergy & immunology

Make an Appointment

To get referral information, call us at 505-272-5464.

Comprehensive Testing and Treatment

Treating chronic or acute lung conditions starts with a thorough diagnosis. Common tests for children with breathing problems include:

  • Bronchoscopy is a flexible scope with a camera that can visually examine your child's lungs and airways.
  • Sweat testing measures the amount of salt in sweat to diagnose cystic fibrosis. The test takes a small sample of sweat on your child’s forearm.
  • Pediatric sleep studies help reveal breathing problems that could cause your child's sleep disorder.
  • Pulmonary function testing is a series of breathing tests. They measure how well your child's lungs work. These include:
    • Your child will breathe into a mouthpiece so a computer can measure how fast and how much air he or she can blow.
    • Exercise and methacholine challenge tests; used for diagnosing asthma, these tests will measure your child’s airflow rate after exercise and also after inhaling a very low dose of methacholine.
    • Cardiopulmonary testing, which measures breathing function and vital signs during exercise.
  • Video laryngoscopy uses video camera technology to diagnose vocal cord dysfunction.

Chronic and acute lung conditions affect children of all ages. While a diagnosis can be scary, rest assured we’ll put our expertise to work with compassionate care.

  • Asthma: inflamed airways that make it difficult to breathe
  • Bronchitis: inflammation of the bronchial tubes that move air in and out of the lungs
  • Bronchiectasis: bronchial tube damage allowing bacteria and mucus to build up in lungs, causing infections and blockage
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD): Develops when a premature infant receives oxygen therapy for an extended period of time, causing abnormal development of lung tissue
  • Chronic cough
  • Cystic fibrosis: an inherited disorder that affects mucus and sweat glands and damages the lungs and digestive system
  • Exercise-related shortness of breath
  • Gastroesophageal reflux: when contents from the stomach flow up into the esophagus, causing irritation
  • Lung problems associated with immune disorders
  • Recurrent pneumonia
  • Respiratory problems associated with neuromuscular disorders
  • Sleep disorders: sleep apnea, narcolepsy, behavioral sleep problems and other breathing-related pediatric sleep issues
  • Ventilator and tracheostomy dependence

Breathing problems and conditions for children can range from minor to complex and can sometimes change quickly. That’s why we offer several different therapies, services and educational programs—to help kids stay healthy and parents stay informed.

  • Aerosol therapies (nebulizers and inhalers)
  • Asthma education
  • Chest physical therapy (CPT) and postural drainage (PD) to clear mucus out of the lungs
  • Cystic Fibrosis education
  • Home apnea monitoring
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Non-invasive ventilation and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy
  • Oxygen and humidity therapy
  • Sleep disorders and healthy sleep habits education

Asthma is a life-long condition. If you live outside of Albuquerque, your child can still get high-quality care. We offer the following outreach clinics specifically for treatment and management of asthma:

  • Farmington
  • Gallup
  • Santa Fe
  • Clovis
  • Roswell
  • Carlsbad
  • Tucumcari
  • Hobbs
  • Portales
  • Las Cruces
  • Silver City
  • Alamogordo

For more information on our outreach clinics, call 877-890-4692.