Pulmonology & Critical Care

Our pulmonary doctors, critical care specialists and sleep medicine team provides world-class care.

Illustration of lungs

Why choose UCLA Health for pulmonology and critical care?

The experts in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine lead the way in exceptional care. U.S. News & World Report ranks us No. 5 in the nation for pulmonology (treatment of respiratory conditions).

Additional highlights of our division include:

Subspecialty expertise: Within our division, we house many programs and centers with niche services. For example, adults with cystic fibrosis (CF) receive treatment through our program, in which all specialists have dedicated expertise in CF treatment. We offer specialized services for lung diseases, sleep disorders and critical illnesses.

World-class transplant program: If you need a lung transplant, our program is among the best and most experienced in the country. We consistently lead the way in researching and implementing new techniques. For example, we were the first in the country to use “breathing lung” transplants, a technique that enables us to preserve donor organs longer. 

Excellence in sleep medicine: We use state-of-the-art techniques to diagnose and treat all types of sleep disorders. We provide the full scope of sleep testing services at each of our 11 outpatient locations. We tailor testing to each individual patient, leading to a more accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment plan.

Our pulmonary and critical care services

Our pulmonary doctors and critical care specialists offer a range of subspecialty services. We have many niche programs where patients receive targeted care. Our areas of care include:

Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program

We created this program in response to the increasing number of adults with CF. In the program, we focus on facilitating smooth transitions from pediatric to adult care.

CF often requires care from multiple specialists. We bring all these team members together under one roof so patients can easily access every specialty area. Our quality of care is so exceptional that this program has achieved accreditation from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation

We provide comprehensive cardiac and pulmonary (lung) rehab in partnership with our team in rehabilitation services. Multidisciplinary treatment plans include the expertise of respiratory therapists, exercise physiologists, certified exercise specialists and registered dietitians.

Center for Iron Disorders

Research focuses on learning more about iron disorder causes, as well as how we can better diagnose and treat these diseases. Recent studies have focused on how the intestines absorb iron, the consequences of iron deficiency and the role of iron during pregnancy.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Program

COPD includes lung diseases that block airflow and cause difficulty breathing. UCLA Health is a national COPD referral center, meaning doctors around the country trust our expertise.

We use ultramodern treatment options and work closely with primary care providers to coordinate efficient care plans. Our COPD team includes:

  • Pulmonologists
  • Thoracic surgeons
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Researchers

Critical care medicine

Our division also includes the expertise of critical care specialists. Programs in critical care medicine include: 

Critical Care Center: The experts in this center span the spectrum of medical specialties. Our mission is to enhance research, education and treatment for critically ill patients.

Medical Intensive Care Unit: This 24-bed unit includes all the resources and equipment needed to manage critical and life-threatening illnesses. The multidisciplinary team includes board-certified physicians in pulmonary and critical care medicine as well as critical care-trained nurses.

3 Wishes Program: Through this program, we implement last wishes for people facing end-of-life. Our mission is to prioritize patient dignity, celebrate lives and improve this period for patients and their families.

Division of Allergy and Immunology

Our allergy specialists offer diagnostic and treatment options for identifying and managing allergies. We use a range of techniques, such as drug desensitization, food challenges and drug challenges, to identify symptom causes and find the most effective treatment.

Interstitial Lung Disease Center

The Interstitial Lung Disease Center is a Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Care Center site. This designation means we provide comprehensive, leading-edge care for interstitial lung disease (disorders that cause lung tissue scarring). Patients from all over the country come to us for our exceptional services.  

Connective Tissue Disease - Interstitial Lung Disease (CTD-ILD) Program

Some patients with interstitial lung disease may also have symptoms of a connective tissue disease. Connective tissues are the parts of your body that hold your body structures together. Having ILD and CTD can cause severe inflammation and internal scarring.

Through the CTD-ILD Program, a team of pulmonologists, rheumatologists, radiologists and others work together to provide comprehensive treatment. When you come to our program, our goal is for you to have an efficient, smooth visit. Because of our team model, you can see all the specialists you need and complete any relevant diagnostic tests in one visit.

Lung Cancer Program

At UCLA Health, we have a longstanding history of expertise in lung cancer treatment. In 1977, the National Cancer Institute appointed our program as one of only seven sites to be part of the Lung Cancer Study Group, a national research group. Since then, we have continued to lead the way in prevention, early detection, treatment and research of lung cancer.

Lung Transplant Program

Our Lung Transplant Program is one of the most successful programs of its kind in the country. Since 1988, we have performed more than 1,000 successful lung transplants and we consistently rank among the top programs in the nation by volume. We are the busiest lung transplant center in the Western United States and the second busiest in the country.

Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program

We are internationally renowned leaders in the diagnosis, treatment and research of pulmonary vascular diseases (conditions that affect the lungs and heart). We treat all types of diseases that affect the lungs and heart. Examples include pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs) and pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure between the heart and lungs). 

Sleep Disorders Center

For more than 50 years, we have achieved continuous accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. We are a medical referral facility for sleep disorders, meaning other specialists recognize that we are experts in this field. We diagnose and treat sleep disorders, as well as teach other doctors and community members about sleep-related conditions.

Conditions pulmonologists treat  

Our pulmonologists and critical care specialists treat a full range of respiratory conditions and critical illnesses. Common conditions we treat include:

Asthma: Inflamed, narrow airways that lead to breathing difficulties.

COPD: Obstructed (blocked) airflow that leads to shortness of breath, wheezing or coughing.

Cystic fibrosis: Genetic disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system.  

Lung cancer: When irregular cells multiply uncontrollably in the lungs.  

Pulmonary embolism: Artery blockage in the lungs, usually caused by a blood clot.  

Pulmonary fibrosis: Scarring in the lungs that can lead to thick, stiff lung tissue.   

Pulmonary hypertension: High blood pressure in the arteries that connect to your lungs.  

Pulmonary tests and procedures we offer

We offer a range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures associated with pulmonary and critical care medicine. These include:

Arterial line placement: Inserting a tiny, hollow tube (catheter) into one of your arteries to continuously monitor blood pressure. 

Bronchoscopy: Placing a small, lighted instrument with a camera through your nose or mouth to view your airways and lungs.

Chest tube placement: Inserting a tube between the inner and outer linings of your chest (pleural space) to drain fluid, blood or air.

Endotracheal intubation: A procedure for placing a tube into your trachea (windpipe) to open your airways and allow breathing, often done in an emergency.

Pulmonary artery catheterization: Placing a catheter into your pulmonary artery (artery that connects the heart to the lungs) to diagnose heart and lung conditions.

Spirometry: A pulmonary function test measuring how much air you can blow out of your lungs, as well as how easily you can do it.

Thoracentesis and closed pleural biopsy: Inserting a needle into the pleural space and removing a small tissue sample for diagnostic testing.

Meet the pulmonology and critical care team

Our team continually sets and raises the standards in pulmonology, critical care and sleep medicine. We are leaders in research, education and patient care.

Contact us

Call 310-825-8061 to request an appointment with a pulmonary specialist at UCLA Health.

Find your care

Our pulmonology and critical care team offers comprehensive, state-of-the-art care. To learn more about our services, call 310-825-8061.

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