Augusta Hospital Breathes Partnership with Mayo Clinic - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Augusta Hospital Breathes Partnership with Mayo Clinic

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Augusta, GA -

As Lynda Lance pulls at the rowing machine, each huff and every puff is being recorded with good reason. She is the first subject in the Cardiopulmonary exercise test for Doctor's Hospital and the Mayo Clinic.

Lance jokes, "it was more difficult than I thought it was."

A partnership between the two hospitals aims to answer the performance science question: what limits human performance and to find ways to prevent those problems through a series of tests like this.

Dr. Bruce Johnson, a physiologist with the Mayo Clinic, says "so we get a good assessment of the muscle mass, fat mass. We're assessing their activity levels through questionnaires and then they're performing two physiology tests; one is on a recumbent bicycle and the other is on a rowing machine."

The doctors say that studying one breath at a time could help them prevent pulmonary disorders like asthma and C-O-P-D.

Dr. Michael Behnia, a pulmonologist with Doctor's Hospital explains, "we have a lot of sleep apnea patients in Augusta and people with asthma and also C-O-P-D and emphysema."

With chronic sufferers estimated in the thousands, Dr. Behnia says using volunteers from the Augusta Rowing club provided the perfect opportunity to try and help patients with pulmonary disorders in the CSRA and nationwide.

"Trying to help them find, basically, a drug for those people that are having pulmonary hypertension -- helping them with their breathing problems," Dr. Behnia adds.

And the results collected from this study could help the project take sail.

Dr. Johnson tells News Channel 6's Tyrone McCoy that "there's several directions we think we'd like to go, but we won't really know until the study is done."

Doctors say the testing will be extensive and could take several years to complete.

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