Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine

A young boy smiling while talking with a health care provider.

Strong lungs are the foundation of your child’s health. When they become blocked or infected, your child can have serious health problems.

Our Pediatric Pulmonology & Sleep Medicine program provides comprehensive care for your child or teen with difficulty breathing (respiratory illnesses), lung diseases or sleep disorders. OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital takes the best possible care of your child by providing:

  • World-class pediatric pulmonologists.
  • Experts in treating lung disorders in newborns, children and teens.
  • A team approach to care.
  • Access to the most effective treatments and advanced therapies.
  • A family-centered environment for the social and emotional care of your child.

Meet our team.

Conditions we treat

Our doctors are experts in treating infants and children with congenital lung disorders, recurrent lung infections and neuromuscular diseases.

Conditions we treat include:

  • Asthma
  • Aerodigestive disorders
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Chronic lung disease because of premature birth
  • Respiratory failure
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Sleep disorders
  • Chest wall and spine disorders (scoliosis): a condition in which a sideways curve in the spine causes breathing and sleep problems
  • Chronic and recurrent respiratory infections
  • Child interstitial lung disease, a group of rare lung diseases that decrease your child’s ability to get enough oxygen

We also treat children who are dependent on ventilators and other specialized medical equipment.

Our excellence

  • OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital is ranked No. 1 in Oregon by U.S. News & World Report.
  • We’re a Cystic Fibrosis Care Center staffed by pediatric pulmonologists and offering Trikafta, a groundbreaking FDA-approved medication.
  • We offer the only children’s aerodigestive center in Oregon and southwest Washington.
  • Our doctors have trained in pediatric medicine and pulmonology at some of the top U.S. children’s hospitals.
A doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to a little girl's heart.
Dr. Michael Powers, one of our expert pulmonologists (breathing and lung specialists), cares for a young patient at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

Coordinated care

We offer a full team to care for your child. With complicated respiratory conditions, this coordinated care can be essential. Our aerodigestive team of specialists, for example, meets before and after each visit to develop and refine your child’s personal treatment plan. Our services include:

  • A collaborative team of pediatric doctors in pulmonology, otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), gastroenterology (digestive system) and surgery.
  • Staff and support services in respiratory therapy, nursing, speech pathology, nutrition and social work.
  • Appointments and tests scheduled on the same day.
  • For children with aerodigestive disorders, procedures can be scheduled during one visit under a single sedation.

The latest treatments

Our leading-edge therapies, technology and expertise include:

  • Trikafta therapy, approved in 2019 for children ages 12 and older with the most common form of cystic fibrosis.
  • A nationally recognized aerodigestive program for children with complex genetic syndromes or neurologic disorders.
  • A dedicated lab for children with the latest technology for measuring and monitoring your child’s lungs.
  • Respiratory therapists who are experts at interacting with children.
  • A state-of-the-art sleep center with a homelike setting where you can stay with your child.

Services we offer

  • Pulmonary function test: Your child blows into a mouthpiece connected to a computer that measures how well their lungs are working.
  • Exercise-induced bronchospasm: Your child has a breathing test (spirometry), then runs on a treadmill or rides a stationary bicycle to see if he has a condition related to exercise. Afterward, another breath test is done for comparison.
  • Infant pulmonary function test: A mask is placed over your baby’s mouth and nose to measure how much air is getting in and out of the lungs.
  • Flexible bronchoscopy: A tiny flexible camera is inserted through the nose and down into the airways. The test helps your child’s doctor look for infections, blockages and other abnormalities. The doctor can also take a mucus or tissue sample for testing.
  • Bronchial lavage: This also uses a flexible scope inserted through the nose and into the lungs. A small amount of saline solution is sprayed onto an area of the lung and then collected for testing. The minimally invasive test helps doctor diagnose infections and lung diseases.  
  • Sleep study: A polysomnogram (PSG) is an overnight study in our sleep lab to measure and record how your child is sleeping. The test is used to diagnose sleep apnea and other disorders.

Research and clinical trials

Research is an important part of how OHSU advances treatment for patients. Our pediatric pulmonologists and other doctors are involved in clinical trials at Doernbecher and beyond.

The cystic fibrosis research team of doctors and research coordinators, for example, is developing a better understanding of cystic fibrosis and how to treat it.

Dr. Kelvin MacDonald, in particular, is a national leader in cystic fibrosis research. He and a research partner are working to develop a way to give cystic fibrosis patients molecular therapy through an inhaler as part of $3.3 million project funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Our clinical trials include efforts to:

  • Study the effectiveness of inhaled drugs.
  • Examine the potential benefits of exercise programs for cystic fibrosis patients.
  • Explore new genetic therapies to restore the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, or CFTR. This protein helps the body produce normal, free-flowing mucus.
  • Study the effectiveness of a hypoglossal nerve stimulator implant in treating obstructive sleep apnea in teenagers with Down syndrome.

Our cystic fibrosis clinical trials are done in partnership with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

For families

Call 503-346-0640 to:

  • Request an appointment.
  • Seek a second opinion.
  • Ask questions.

Location

Parking is free for patients and their visitors.

Doernbecher Children’s Hospital
700 S.W. Campus Drive
Portland, OR 97239
Map and directions

Refer a patient

  • Call 503-346-0644 to seek provider-to-provider advice.

Stay informed

Blog: Find health and parenting tips, patient stories and more on Doernbecher’s Healthy Families blog.

News: Read about research breakthroughs, patient care and many other topics on the OHSU News site.