Dr Stephen Child - General Physician/Respiratory Interest
Respiratory medicine is the branch of medicine that treats people with diseases affecting the lungs and breathing.
The role of our lungs is to deliver oxygen into our bloodstream and remove carbon dioxide. When you breathe in, air passes through the throat into the windpipe (trachea). The base of the windpipe divides into the right and left tubes (bronchi) which divide again and again each time getting smaller and smaller until the smallest airways called the alveoli are reached. The alveoli act like balloons i.e. when you breathe in they inflate and when you breathe out they relax.
Oxygen moves across the walls of the alveoli and enters the bloodstream and is carried to the rest of the body after passing through the heart. Carbon dioxide is passed from the blood into the alveoli and is breathed out of the lungs.
Common symptoms or signs of lung disease include: shortness of breath, wheezing, long-term cough, coughing up blood, and having chest pains.
General Physician/Respiratory Interest
Alternate Monday afternoons at Counties, Papakura.
Tuesday afternoons at Mercy, Epsom.
Happy to be contacted for urgent referrals outside of these hours.
It would be best if you could please bring any letters or reports from your doctor (or another hospital) as I often try to summarise all investigations that you have had to date to try and get an entire picture of your health condition. It is fine, however, if you are unable to obtain this information initially.
Common Conditions / Procedures / Treatments
General Physicians specialise in the diagnosis of difficult conditions. Many of my referrals include patients with symptoms of chronic fatigue, night sweats, generalised aches, etc. More
Often patients will develop a chronic cough that persists for more than 12 weeks without a diagnosis being made.… More
Shortness of Breath
Causes of shortness of breath are multitude but can centre around heart, lung or blood problems that require careful review. More
Asthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, a tight feeling in the chest and trouble breathing.… More
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
This term is used to describe lung disease where the breathing tubes become blocked and the surrounding tissue and air sacs inside the lungs become damaged.… More
Abnormal chest x-rays or diabetes often cause concern for immigration to New Zealand. I offer a referral service to review patients with these issues and attempt to expedite their entry to this country where possible. More
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
General Physicians can offer assistance with both the causes of high blood pressure and those that are difficult to control. More
Chronic Fatigue States
Many conditions present with symptoms of fatigue. Often these can be due to infection, inflammation, allergy, hormone problems or rarely a cancer. In most patients, the medical profession doesn't make any specific diagnosis but it is very important to ensure that you have had a thorough assessment before this conclusion… More
70% of chest pain remains essentially undiagnosed by the medical profession. In my hospital practice, I review close to 10 patients per week presenting with chest pain and have become quite familiar with this vexing problem. More
Patients commonly present with symptoms of "aches and pains" without a clear cause. While polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and fibromyalgia are common causes, many other more rare conditions can cause these symptoms and they require careful review. More
War Pensions Assessments
I have been reviewing veterans for potential war pension disability for over 5 years and really enjoy this aspect of my practice. Where possible, please try to bring any additional information from doctors' visits or hospital admissions to the consultation. More
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is present in 4-8% of the population and presents with a wide range of symptoms. More
This is when abnormal (malignant) cells divide and grow in an uncontrolled fashion in the lung tissue.… More
Causes of night sweats are multiple and very similar to that for chronic fatigue. Please see this condition for common causes and investigations. More
I am a reviewer for ACC Treatment Injury claims and can do other assessments for ACC. I usually require a specific referral directly from ACC but will review special cases on an individual case by case basis. More
Lung Function Tests
You may be advised to take lung function tests to find out how much air moves in and out as you breathe.… More
During this test a thin fibreoptic tube is inserted into your breathing tubes, through the nose, to view the tubes and take a biopsy (remove cells or tissue) to see if there are cancer cells present.… More
Computer Tomography (CT) Scans
With CT you can see much more detail than with a normal X-ray.… More
A chest X-ray is normally undertaken to evaluate the chest wall, lungs and heart.… More
Fine Needle Aspirate
Depending on what is seen on the CT scan an additional test can be done where a fine needle is inserted into your chest into the cancer and some cells sucked up into the needle.… More
A 75-minute new patient appointment ranges from $340 - $395 at each practice.
A 30-minute follow-up appointment ranges from $140 - $185.
However, (to the chagrin of my accountant), charges are often reduced or modified to meet individual circumstances so please talk to me if there are particular concerns.
War Pension assessments are obviously free to the patient and I am happy to reduce my charges for immigration assessment where applicable.
Freely available at Papakura rooms but can be a nuisance at Mercy Clinic. The best suggestion would be to use the 180 min parking spaces at Mercy and notify me if time is a constraint.
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This page was last updated at 10:52AM on May 1, 2014. This information is reviewed and edited by Dr Stephen Child - General Physician/Respiratory Interest.