Pulmonary Medicine has been in existence as the departments of “Chest diseases” and “Thoracic Medicine” since the 1970s. The first regression equations to predict the normal lung function values for the Indian population were derived by a Dr Jim Milledge, a British Physician; from research done at CMC, Vellore. The department has had a chequered history over the next couple of decades and in the year 1993, it was amalgamated with Medicine Unit 2, for want of suitable manpower.
In the year 2000 it resurrected as a separate department and acquired its present name. Since then the department has made steady progress and now offers state of the art care, and could be rated among the best in the country. The department attracts patients with complex problems from pockets located in the length and breadth of the country, and thus has evolved strong clinical base. It has the backing of a good thoracic surgery service from the department of cardiothoracic-vascular surgery.
Laboratory support services include; a state-of-the art pulmonary function, exercise physiology and sleep labs. The department has a very busy diagnostic bronchoscopy and medical thoracoscopy services. Besides this, there is also a therapeutic bronchoscopy service.
The respiratory research wing of the department is involved in National and International multicentre pharmaceutical trials and “original research” in pulmonary physiology, asthma, COPD, tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, lung cancer and other respiratory diseases.