Tag Archives: chronic bronchitis

World COPD Day,2011 and the Governor’s Proclamation meet in Bremerton’s City Council TODAY

Happy World COPD Day today – 16 November 2011!   (Local recognition activity follows….and Bremerton’s Mayor Patty Lent leads the way)  Sorry, I’m running a little late.

In addition – a new lung connection in the newly completed 20-year study found that COPD patients are five times more likely to develop lung cancer than normal lung folks are.  The warning is to offer Spirometry to detect COPD in the early stages to cut cancer and COPD deaths.  The investigative paper gave the shout-out in the prestigious European Respiratory Journal.

“It comes as an exclusive investigation by GP found a lack of PCT investment in the gold standard treatment for COPD is undermining patients’ quality of life and increasing practice workload.

Around one in 100 patients with the chronic disease developed cancer, compared with one in 500 without lung impairment.

Testing the lung function of former and active smokers would identify COPD earlier, thereby improving early detection of lung cancer and improving survival chances, it found.

Lead author Yasuo Sekine, of Tokyo Women’s Medical University, said: ‘The findings from our analysis suggest that early detection of COPD in addition to lung cancer screening for these patients could be an effective detection technique for lung cancer. However, further research is still needed to determine the selection criteria for COPD and lung cancer screening.’

Monica Fletcher, chairperson of the European Lung Foundation, said millions had COPD but it was often undetected.

‘People frequently ignore the symptoms of lung disease and leave it too late before going to the doctor, she said. ‘This research highlights the need for routine lung function tests, known as spirometry, to help improve quality of life and identify other conditions that could be present.’

Professor Klaus Rabe, president of the European Respiratory Society, said ‘On World COPD Day, we would also urge European governments to improve early detection of respiratory diseases, such as COPD.’

Meanwhile, patients’ respiratory associations across Europe said governments must work harder to reduce the £28 billion annual cost of COPD.

Proposals from the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations to reduce this burden include listing COPD as a warning on tobacco products, improving access to spirometry and funding research on how to avoid exacerbations.

 

http://www.gponline.com/News/article/1104308/detect-copd-cut-cancer-deaths-experts-urge/

The Better Breather’s Respiratory Support Group meets today at Harrison Silverdale -in the Rose room from 1:00pm – 3:00 pm.  Pam O’Flynn will introduce Harrison’s new Respiratory Clinical Practice Educator, Martin Robin.  I know the meeting will be informative and lively no matter the topic and hope to see you there!

http://www.harrisonmedical.org/home/calendar/4903

“We welcome any community member with asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, sarcoidosis, asbestosis, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis and the many more lung diseases affecting our population, pediatric or adult.”

Harrison Silverdale – 1800 NW Myhre Road – Silverdale, WA 98383

Pamela O’Flynn – 360-744-6685 – respiratorycare@harrisonmedical.org

 

Today – at 5:30 pm – Bremerton’s Mayor Patty Lent makes COPD, Kitsap County and Washington State history.  She is the first mayor in Washington State to present Governor Christine Gregoire’s Proclamation declaring November 2011 State COPD Month, to my knowledge.  Her generosity in recognizing the 3rd leading cause of death in the US is precious by recognizing today, 16 November 2011 as World COPD Day!

District 3, Manette’s hard working effective and beneficial city council member, Adam Brockus will present the Proclamation to Karma Foley of Seabeck who lost both parents to COPD.  Karma’s mom had the inherited type of COPD and with her oxygen tank, went out of her way to help me with several COPD/EFFORTS public meetings we put together a few years ago.

This COPD  historic event happens at 5:30 pm in the Norm Dicks Government Building city council chambers.  I will be taking pictures for y’all and trying not to let my eyes leak. Thank you!

I will ride a recumbent trike from Evergreen Park to the NDGB or walk it instead…very cold and wet out there.

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara

Now go save a life – yours – Spirometry early detection testing

Spirometry is the easy, fast, inexpensive method to check for early detection COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and enable the patient to STOP the developing COPD in its tracks. 

So, tell me – why don’t primary care doctors give the test when it could save lives from the third leading cause of death in the US?  In addition, stop the long, slow smother…

When will the Public Health get involved?

The doctors I asked were candid and claimed most patients will not change their environment even if their environment was the cause of the COPD to avoid the further continuation of the beginning of COPD.

Maybe the doctors I spoke to are right.  Maybe the patients have not seen what happens to the COPDers who go on to develop other medical conditions.

Perhaps some patients would not make the changes needed but others would if given the opportunity to decide.  However, without offering the test , the doctors chose for them.

I found the following straightforward Spirometry information when I was goggling for something else.

 

Spirometry is an affordable and reliable method for pulmonary function testing. This test carries no risk, requires only four minutes of patient time, on average, and is the only test available to the primary care physician for the early detection of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD including emphysema and chronic bronchitis), asthma, and other chronic lung diseases.

The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) recommends spirometry as an essential component of asthma diagnosis and treatment in the primary care setting, yet fewer than 20% of primary care providers report routine use, a proportion that is even smaller among pediatricians than family physicians and internists.

    National guidelines for asthma and COPD recommend routine spirometry and research has shown that nearly one-third of pediatric patients are misclassified in terms of asthma severity without the objective measurements of spirometry. Learn more here (KING 5 NEWS Seattle).

The COPD Foundation call spirometry the gold standard for initial pulmonary function testing allowing detection of the disease at an early stage, when it is most amenable to treatment and perhaps reversal. Nonetheless, about 40% of primary care doctors do not have a spirometer in their practice and of those that do, one-third do not use them routinely.

    Starting in 2009, the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) requires spirometry testing in the assessment and diagnosis of COPD. These HEDIS measures are required as part of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Accreditation Process for Commercial Health Plans.

The truth about spirometry

Myth: Spirometry has dubious value.

Reality: The National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP) states that spirometry is one of the best clinical tests available for detection of lung disease and is better than blood pressure as a predictor of heart disease.

Myth: The test takes too long.

Reality: Spirometry can be completed in the primary care office in four minutes, on average.

Myth: The equipment is bulky and expensive.

Reality: While previously true, machines today are smaller for portability and available for under $2000. Hand-held office spirometers are developed with user-friendliness in mind, making them acceptable for use in a variety of primary care settings.

© 2009 University of Washington

interactive Medical Training Resources

University of Washington

Box 354920

Seattle, WA 98195-4920

T: 206-685-9699

F: 206-616-4623

imtr@u.washington.edu

http://depts.washington.edu/imtr/spiro360/about_spiro/

Thanks for reading…Now go ask your doctor about a Spirometry test.

Sharon O’Hara

ALPHA-1 is coming to town and Harrison Silverdale’s BB has them!

Alpha-1 is coming to town!  Silverdale to be exact – in the Rose Room at Harrison Silverdale to be more exact – 1:00pm to 3:00pm and we are all excited.

Mark Wednesday, 21 September 2011 for Better Breather’s partnering with Alpha-1 and Free Testing for the Alpha-1, a genetic component of Emphysema (COPD)

“American Thoracic Society (ATS) Guidelines

ATS guidelines recommend testing a broad range of patients with lung conditions:1

All adults with symptomatic emphysema regardless of smoking history

All adults with symptomatic COPD regardless of smoking history

All adults with symptomatic asthma whose airflow obstruction is incompletely reversible after bronchodilator therapy

Asymptomatic patients with persistent obstruction on pulmonary function tests with identifiable risk factors (smoking, occupational exposure, etc.)

Consider testing of asymptomatic individuals with persistent airflow obstruction without risk factors (no smoking or no known occupational exposure, etc.)”

The speaker is Nancy Bartholomew, with Prolastin-C from Grifols Inc.

 

 

I have included this photo taken from ATS “Rare Lung Diseases” because seeing it broke my heart.  It shows a ‘mother and her baby poignantly illustrating the fact that young women can be the victim of rare lung diseases.”

If we do not test, we cannot know and could easily be misdiagnosed and medically treated for the wrong condition.

… taken from American Thoracic Society (ATS) online “Some of the most exciting discoveries in pulmonary medicine have come from studying rare diseases. Insights gained from uncommon lung diseases often shed light on more common lung diseases…”  http://www.thoracic.org/education/breathing-in-america/index.php

Web sites of interest

National Institutes of Health Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network

www.rarediseasesnetwork.org

Orphanet  – About Rare Diseases

www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/Education_AboutRareDiseases.php?Ing=EN

LAM Foundation

www.thelamfoundation.org

Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome Network

www.hermansky-pudlak.org

Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance

www.tsalliance.org

 

Look for a table and chairs set up and friendly Harrison folks…Joyce is the RRT Harrison volunteer Better Breathers liaison…we are lucky to have her.

Rose Room – Harrison Silverdale

1800 NW Myhre Road – Silverdale, WA 98383

Better Breathers Support Group

“Our Better Breathers support group encompasses community members and their caregivers who live with chronic respiratory disease and lung disease. Better Breathers is designed to provide support, education, networking, and tools to improve the daily lives of those living with these health conditions.

We welcome any community member with asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, sarcoidosis, asbestosis, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis and the many more lung diseases affecting our population, pediatric or adult.

Please email or call if you will need assistance with parking at the meeting.”

Contact: Pamela O’Flynn   – 360-744-6687 – respiratorycare@harrisonmedical.org

 

If anyone needs a ride, contact me.

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara

TREE OF LIFE hosts Better Breather’s Support Group Meeting on (COPD Equipment!)

Better Breathers meets tomorrow in Silverdale Harrison’s TREE OF LIFE room from 1 pm – 3 pm.

Sorry – change of topic.  Stat Home Care is bringing the different machines Lung folks use  and explain the use of each.  Example:  I’m on a BIPAP and Concentrator bleed in and not entirely sure how they work together.  Can a concentrator work without the BIPAP and how does it affect the patient?  It will be exciting to see the very latest The topic is Neuromuscular Disease, which includes Lou Gehrig Disease and a review of respiratory medications.

The speaker is Respiratory Therapist Christine Bromell.

It takes muscle to breathe and I’d like to understand how these diseases work on the body…including the Sleep Apnea and COPD progression work.  going because it takes muscles to breathe….we’re getting educated!

The fastest way to the TREE OF LIFE room is through the Labor and Delivery Baby entrance and down the long hall by the elevators.

Look for a table and chairs set up and friendly Harrison folks…Joyce is the RRT Harrison volunteer Better Breathers liaison…we are lucky to have her.

Neuromuscular Disease      COPD equipment including CPAP, BIPAP, CONCENTRATORS…

Speaker:  Respiratory Therapist Christine Bromell

Wednesday, 17 August 16, 2011

1:00pm – 3:00pm

TREE OF LIFE room – Harrison Silverdale

1800 NW Myhre Road – Silverdale, WA 98383

Better Breathers Support Group

“Our Better Breathers support group encompasses community members and their caregivers who live with chronic respiratory disease and lung disease. Better Breathers is designed to provide support, education, networking, and tools to improve the daily lives of those living with these health conditions.

We welcome any community member with asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, sarcoidosis, asbestosis, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis and the many more lung diseases affecting our population, pediatric or adult.

Please email or call if you will need assistance with parking at the meeting.”

Contact: Pamela O’Flynn   – 360-744-6687 – respiratorycare@harrisonmedical.org

***

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara

Good Sleep Health and Sleep Apnea – Tomorrow!

Good Sleep Health and Sleep Apnea

Speaker:  Jess Lackey of Pacific Pulmonary Inc.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

1:00pm – 3:00pm

Rose Room – Harrison Silverdale

1800 NW Myhre Road – Silverdale, WA 98383

 

Better Breathers Support Group

“Our Better Breathers support group encompasses community members and their caregivers who live with chronic respiratory disease and lung disease. Better Breathers is designed to provide support, education, networking, and tools to improve the daily lives of those living with these health conditions.

 

We welcome any community member with asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, sarcoidosis, asbestosis, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis and the many more lung diseases affecting our population, pediatric or adult.

Please email or call if you will need assistance with parking at the meeting.”

Contact: Pamela O’Flynn   – 360-744-6687 –  respiratorycare@harrisonmedical.org

****

My sleep apnea story in short form:  Some ten years ago the Sleep Study and bi-pap machine enabled me to get back into a bed after a few years of sleeping in a chair…I could not breathe lying down so had to sleep in a recliner chair…comfortable though it was, it was not a bed.

During this last year after an at home study I discovered my saturation numbers hit the basement while sleeping – bottoming out into the low 70’s.  100 is normal and nobody knew it…who knows how long that went on?

One of the questions I will be asking tomorrow:  Why don’t the c-pap or bi-pap machines monitor the patient’s blood/oxygen level during sleep to alert the doctor there is a problem.  Hint: After a length of time without oxygen, brain cells die.  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001435.htm

During sleep how low can the blood/oxygen levels go and for how long before brain cells die?  Personally, I want to hug and cherish my brain cells from a distance and keep them going as long as possible.

A sharp Harrison Medical Center ER doc caught a problem and had me put on a concentrator that gathers oxygen from the room and bleeds it into my bi-pap – leading to better sleep.  Except when the RLS bounces me right out of bed to move my legs and walk around.

Ignoring Sleep Apnea can lead to serious stuff – we need to be aware.

Tomorrow is the opportunity to ask the questions and have fun at the same time.

Refreshments!

See you Wednesday!  If anyone needs a ride, let me know.

Following are photos of my concentrator connected to the bi-pap and connected to the facemask that goes over my nose and blows air into my airway.

Some folks say the c-pap and bi-pap is too noisy.  I call it the sweet song of life.

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara

Lung Patients Learn to Eat for Easier Breathing – Wednesday!

Harrison is doing a super job of helping us get educated and this month’s meeting is no exception.

See a video and brief glimpse of last month’s meeting on Pulmonary Function Tests with Joyce Belnap, RRT and successful Reduced Lung Surgery COPD patient Clint Halliday, there with daughter Laurie Schley.   Learn how a spirometry test is taken.  Thanks Harrison!   I also have video of other folks there and I’ll show them from time to time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRLkUTWsKIw&feature=youtube_gdata

Harrison Medical Center’s Better Breathers Support Group Meeting Program promises to be a real eye opener and help us learn how to eat the right foods  for easier breathing , sometimes difficult for some of us to learn – “Eating to Breathe Easier.”

Taken directly from Harrison’s online Calendar of Events http://www.harrisonmedical.org/home/calendar/4891

Wednesday, May 18 – 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Better Breathers Support Group

Our Better Breathers support group encompasses community members and their caregivers who live with chronic respiratory disease and lung disease. Better Breathers is designed to provide support, education, networking, and tools to improve the daily lives of those living with these health conditions.

We welcome any community member with asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, sarcoidosis, asbestosis, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis and the many more lung diseases affecting our population, pediatric or adult.

Please email or call if you will need assistance with parking at the meeting.

Eating to Breathe Easier.

Featured Speaker:

Leah Werner, Clinical Dietician

5/18/2011 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Rose Room, Harrison Silverdale

1800 NW Myhre Road

Silverdale, WA 98383

Contact Info

Pamela O’Flynn 360-744-6687

respiratorycare@harrisonmedical.org

If anyone needs a ride, let me know.

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara

FREE Oximeter Readings and FREE Take Home Pic Flow Meter – Lung Patients Meet at the Rose Room – Harrison Silverdale

The oximeter is a wonderful aid to lung patients and Harrison’s BB meeting this month – Wednesday – will offer a spirometry reading to each of us attending.  PLUS!  Harrison’s gifted respiratory folks will teach us how to use the Pic Flow Meter AND send one home with each of us!

http://healthguide.howstuffworks.com/peak-flow-meter-picture-a.htm

Harrison and the  American Lung Association’s Better Breathers look at ALL aspects of lung disease and welcomes all of us – not just the third leading cause of death in the US, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)  Many of us have more than one lung disease diagnosis often leading to heart disease.

If you have an oximeter, they’ll be glad to check the calibration – I’m bringing mine.

I’m also bringing a few extra copies of the Harrison spin off the Old Guy made up for me to use for daily health readings to give to my doctor – in case anyone wants one.

***

Wednesday, April 20 – 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Harrison Medical Center – Better Breathers Support Group

Our Better Breathers support group encompasses community members and their caregivers who live with chronic respiratory disease and lung disease. Better Breathers is designed to provide support, education, networking, and tools to improve the daily lives of those living with these health conditions.

We welcome any community member with asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, sarcoidosis, asbestosis, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis and the many more lung diseases affecting our population, pediatric or adult.

Please email or call if you will need assistance with parking at the meeting.

This Support Group is held the third Wednesday of each month.

4/20/2011 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Rose Room

Harrison Silverdale

1800 NW Myhre Road

Silverdale, WA 98383

Contact Info

Pamela O’Flynn * 360-744-6685 * respiratorycare@harrisonmedical.org

If anyone needs a ride let me know.  360-337-1454

Hope to see you Wednesday….thanks for listening… Sharon O’Hara

Lung Disease Meeting Wednesday

I hope to see you on Wednesday for the next Harrison Medical Center’s Respiratory BB Support Group Program.

I’m disappointed we’re not having the meeting I’d expected with a Sleep Study M.D. doc and an explanation of … “is cycling healthier for a lung patient with right heart failure than walking.”

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/copd-and-other-stuff/2011/02/16/is-cycling-healthier-for-a-lung-patient-with-right-heart-failure-than-walking/

That said,  I’m looking forward to the topic of the newest home and portable nebulizer machines and hope new nebulizer meds are mentioned  In particular, I’d like to know what the latest nebulizer medications are and how they work in comparison to the old Albuterol.

***

Wednesday, March 16 – 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Better Breathers Support Group

Our Better Breathers support group encompasses community members and their caregivers who live with chronic respiratory disease and lung disease. Better Breathers is designed to provide support, education, networking, and tools to improve the daily lives of those living with these health conditions.

We welcome any community member with asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, sarcoidosis, asbestosis, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis and the many more lung diseases affecting our population, pediatric or adult.

Please email or call if you will need assistance with parking at the meeting.

This Support Group is held the third Wednesday of each month.

Dates and Locations

3/16/2011

1:00pm – 3:00pm

Rose Room

Harrison Silverdale

1800 NW Myhre Road

Silverdale, WA 98383

Home Nebulizers and Medications

We have a speaker for you this month from MedEquip Homecare Company.  MedEquip is part of the Rotech family of hometown healthcare companies.  Tony Vondran will be speaking about the newest home and portable nebulizer machines.  In addition he’ll be teaching you about home nebulizer medications and meter dose inhalers and their proper use.

Please join us for our great topic and some St. Patrick day treats.

Speaker:  Tony Vondran, RRT

Registered Respiratory Therapist

MedEquip Services, INC.

Topics:  Home Nebulizers and Medication

Joyce Belnap, RRT

Supervisor

Respiratory Therapy Department

Contact Info

Pamela O’Flynn

360-744-6685

respiratorycare@harrisonmedical.org

***

If anyone needs a ride to the meeting, let me know.  See you Wednesday!

More later… Sharon O’Hara

COPD, Professor William MacNee Clicked for this COPDer

FLASH

Ref:  Early detection public COPD Spirometry,  World Spirometry Day and World COPD Day

I called our health district yesterday and spoke with  Cris Craig, Kitsap County Health District Public Information Officer.  She couldn’t answer my question about the health department offering free spirometry to the public.  She did say in a cheerful voice she would call in about three weeks with a response.  THAT is good news and she didn’t ask what COPD was – even better..  A hopeful sign and may mean that Spirometry will be offered and made available to the public.  I believe in miracles.

Professor William MacNee and the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Scotland, UK website has superb graphics – the best explanation of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) I’ve seen in one place.  His ‘The Latest Trends in COPD Research’ graphically shows why early detection Spirometry is important.

For many of us COPD is an ongoing magnet for other disease, including some really difficult stuff.  COPD and lung disease can be the beginning of a long list of personal medical challenges expanding the patient’s medical disease library.  Whatever needs to happen to avoid COPD in your life get tested for early detection and do whatever is needed to get it done.

My son, Al and I were visiting family in Northern Norway  in1997.  I didn’t know then my 40 year smoking habit was almost over.  And so was I.   I was beginning to feel sick.  The day after this picture was taken, I had to see a Norwegian doctor.  She examined me and prescribed medications for Pleurisy and Chronic Bronchitis.  The medication worked, the pain receded and we were back on schedule.   Within a couple weeks after this picture was taken and five days after returning home, I was in the hospital.

Life as I’d known it was over.

COPD is a friendly disease.  For me, once Emphysema (COPD) got settled in my lungs and got comfortable, she began to invite her Other Stuff Disease buddies for a sleep over.  Trouble is, they stayed over and didn’t go home.  They joined COPD trying to play Havoc with my health and life.

Following COPD was an open lung biopsy and Sarcoidosis – Sleep Apnea – RLS – Psoriasis – Venous Stasis Dermatitis  – Cellulitis – High Blood Pressure – Lymphedema – and  bone-on-bone Arthritis, left hip followed – to name a few.

Early detection Spirometry can stop COPD early – before it’s too late.  Ask your doctor.

This is where it gets tricky.  Health care is a huge problem.  COPD generally  takes twenty years developing before a person mentions symptoms to the doctor and by then about fifty percent of the lungs are destroyed….leading the patient to a long slow smother and the taxpayer choking form the cost.

Offering free Spirometry testing for early COPD detection gives the individual  warning.  If the problem is not genetic, it can be turned around. Telling isn’t enough – SHOW people what COPD can do to them and their families.  Let them meet willing patients who can show and tell… a real reality show.

Exercise works and muscle utilizes oxygen better than flab.  We can breathe better and move easier.  Exercise and understanding COPD gives us a quality of life back – to be the best we can be.  The recumbent trike takes us places we couldn’t easily go without one – fun stuff,  building muscle at the same time. We must keep moving … ask your doctor.

I did not qualify for lung reduction surgery or I would have opted to get it ..not enough good lung and I heard rave reviews from patients who had had one.  One COPDer told me the lung reduction surgery restored his life back to ‘normal’ and lasted about five years before time and COPD danced ahead.  Ask your doctor about it.

Pursed lip breathing training is a must for COPDers – it keeps us out of the panic mode and out of the hospital.  It has for me…and I tested it with my oximeter.Talk to your doctor about pulmonary rehab.  It is never too late to get better through our own efforts…what does your doctor say?

Photo taken by the photographer who traveled with the Trek.  This photo shows me on my recumbent trike flying the  COPD/EFFORTS safety flag and pedaling over Deception Pass with the American Lung Association of Washington’s three day bike ride – the Trek Tri Island.

It was the first time I had been away overnight from my house in seven years – since Harrison Hospital in 1997.  A slow trike rider, it is thanks to the wonderful volunteers who hop scotched me and my trike ahead of the other 200 plus bike riders time after time that enabled me to pedal 50 miles of the 137 mile trip. I felt free again.

Key motivators were the Shortness of Breath Study at the University of Washington Medical Center that I was lucky enough to qualify for and my online support group, EFFORTS.  Proof to me that  educating COPD patients work.

Stroke patient, Mary Griffith and her butterfly and gold star fingernails caught my eye the other day – more about Mary and husband, Doug later)

Kitsap County Health District … Will you be the first county health district in the nation to see the fiscal benefit of early detection Spirometry to protect citizens of ALL ethnic background.

The Kitsap County taxpayer and COPD future could rest in your hands.

Thank you Professor William MacNee for a great COPD informational website and allowing me to use it here.

http://www.efanet.org/activities/documents/WMcNeeLatestTrendsinCOPDResearch. pdf

More later… Sharon O’Hara

Part 4 of 4

Dr. Tom Speaks … Like it or Not

If COPD has a living guru in this nation, it is Thomas L. Petty, MD.

The following message is important and can save lives through early detection. Dr. Tom’s comment, “COPD is associated with numerous co-morbidities, and indeed, the entire body may become involved” is spot on….believe it… YES!

Since COPD diagnosis, then landing in the hospital in 1997, I have gone from being healthy and fit into my fifties to COPD and another EIGHT medical conditions. Each has its own set of ‘rules’. If I take pain pills for the Cellulites, I know that my respiratory system will be adversely affected….not a good thing with two lung diseases. The latest medication, Diovan, adds to the mix.

The point is that a COPD diagnosis is only the beginning of a medical adventure that need not happen with early detection…the simple Spirometry test.

Please, read Dr. Tom’s comments.
*****************************************
COPD Progress and Challenges 2009

By Thomas L. Petty, MD

In the four decades I’ve devoted to lung health, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has been slow to excite the practicing physician. Yet COPD should create great enthusiasm because we have made so many advances in identification and treatment. Many new therapies are available that are effective and favorably influence the disease.

COPD is associated with numerous co-morbidities, and indeed, the entire body may become involved.1It is now regarded as a systemic disease.2Traditionally; COPD has included emphysema (loss of alveolar walls and loss of elastic recoil), chronic bronchitis, inflammation in the small and large airways, and various degrees of lung inflammation throughout the lung parenchyma.

More recently, bronchiectasis has been added to this spectrum, although there are significant differences in manifestations and pathogenesis with repeated bacterial infections playing a more prominent role in bronchiectasis than with emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Spirometry’s significance

COPD is characterized by irreversible airflow obstruction as judged by simple spirometry. Only the FEV1is needed to judge the severity of airflow obstruction, although a number of other measurements of airflow volume and gas transfer (diffusion test) are commonly undertaken to assess the disease states in more detail.

Spirometry is used to monitor the course of disease. All physicians who treat COPD should have immediate access to spirometers, including primary care practitioners because of their growing involvement in COPD managment.

The benefits and barriers to spirometry have been summarized.3For some reason, there appears to be an unfortunate bias against spirometry, particularly in the diagnosis and assessment of early disease. This is where treatment has the opportunity to do the most good. It is astonishing that only 37 percent of hospitalized patients had a spirometric diagnosis of COPD at the time of a hospitalization for an exacerbation.4

Established therapies

Early diagnosis can change outcome of disease through smoking cessation and the selective use of a growing body of pharmacologic agents.5The pathogenesis of COPD relates to interaction of a complex array of genetic abnormalities under current study, interacting with environmental factors, most notably smoking, other dusts, and volatile compounds involved in various industries on a worldwide basis. Treatment focuses on eliminating these environmental factors.

Medications that are most useful in COPD are comparable to those used in asthma with reversible airflow obstruction. Thus, inhaled beta-agonists, corticosteroids, and in selected cases, anticholinergics are widely used in achieving better scientific scaffolding. Oral corticosteroids seem particularly effective in slowing the progress of disease.6

Active patients

Oxygen is established as an effective method of increasing not only the length, but quality of life for patients with COPD. At least 140,000 people with COPD and related disorders benefit from oxygen therapy in the U.S. alone. Ambulatory oxygen systems allow full activity, and they should be equipped with a pulse oximeter in order to monitor therapy’s effectiveness.

Portable oxygen concentrators are now approved for air travel. Most weigh about 10 pounds and deliver oxygen only by the demand mode; however, one exception weighs 17 pounds and gives up to 1 to 3 Liters of continuous flow.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is established as improving the exercise tolerance of many with COPD. Controlled clinical trials show pulmonary rehabilitation improves depression, anxiety, and somatic preoccupation, which are particularly common in the early stages of disease.7Most pulmonologists can provide the necessary breathing training, assistance in graded exercise, and other components that are key to patient and family education.

The future involves increased awareness of COPD among patients, physicians, and other health care providers.

COPD is the only disease increasing in morbidity and mortality among the top five killers, and by 2010, it is expected to become the third most common cause of death in the U.S. It resulted in direct and indirect losses of $30.4 billion to the U.S. economy in 2001. Approximately 16 million adult Americans have COPD, and it is very likely that a similar number have asymptomatic or even symptomatic lung disease that is neither diagnosed nor treated.

Thomas L. Petty, MD, MACP, Master FCCP, is chairman emeritus of the National Lung Health Education Program, Denver.

http://respiratory-care-sleep-medicine.advanceweb.com/Article/COPD-Progress-and-Challenges-2009.aspx

My next blog post will put money where my mouth is in a challenge to join me to prove that patients educated about their disease/s WILL make whatever lifestyle changes needed for the best health possible.

More later… Sharon O’Hara