Brookings Health System Acquires Body Box to Help Diagnose Respiratory Conditions

Posted: 11/7/2017

Respiratory Therapists Janie Isham (left) and Meredith Meyer practice administering pulmonary plethysmograph testing with fellow employee Katy VanderWal. Commonly referred to as a body box, the pulmonary plethysmograph helps diagnose patients with pulmonary conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other breathing conditions. The new equipment allows patients to receive advanced testing in Brookings, saving local patients time and travel expenses.Brookings Health System recently acquired a new pulmonary plethysmograph, commonly referred to as a body box, to help diagnose patients with pulmonary conditions.

“A patient sits in a clear, acrylic box about the size of a telephone booth and performs breathing maneuvers through a mouthpiece,” said Respiratory Care Director Lynne Thompson. “Through this we can get readings on how the patient’s lungs are functioning: how air moves in and out, what volumes the lungs can achieve and how the lungs overall function moving oxygen into the body.”

While Brookings Health System has performed basic testing to assess how well the lungs work for years, the addition of the body box allows them to perform advanced diagnostics to help identify asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other breathing conditions.

“Before we added the body box, patients would have to travel to Sioux Falls or another location for the advanced testing,” said Thompson. “By having it here at Brookings Hospital, we’re helping local patients save time and travel expenses.”

Results from body box testing are shared with the patient’s care provider who uses the information to prescribe appropriate therapeutic measures.

Physician referral is required for body box testing. If you think you may benefit from pulmonary plethysmograph testing, ask your primary care provider to refer you to Brookings Health System. For more information on respiratory care services offered at Brookings Health System, please visit

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed The Neighborhoods at Brookview nursing home, Brookhaven Estates senior living apartments, Yorkshire Eye Clinic, Arlington Medical Center, White Medical Clinic and Volga Medical Clinic. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, surgical and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at