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World COPD Day 18th November 2010

Newsdate: 16th November 2010 

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, is helping to promote ‘World COPD Day’ on the 17th November 2010. COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a common lung disease that obstructs the airways, making breathing difficult.  COPD is usually caused by smoking or exposure to fumes or very dusty places and can therefore be prevented.  When COPD develops, it can be treated, although it cannot be cured.  The earlier it is detected, the better the results of treatment.

The Trust’s COPD Hospital at Home service has now been established for over 10 years. This service helps to reduce the number of patients being admitted with acute COPD and enables earlier and more effective discharge of patients admitted to hospital, as treatment is carried out at home.  Patient satisfaction comment cards have all given very positive feedback regarding the service.

Annette Pilling, Specialist COPD Nurse, says: “Compared with other regions in England, Wigan and Leigh has a higher than average number of patients suffering from COPD.  Many patients are not aware that they have this condition and assume that their symptoms are part of the aging process or due to the fact that they have smoked.” 

The aim of World COPD day is to encourage people in Wigan and Leigh to seek help sooner rather than later and prevent their illness from getting any worse. You may have COPD but don’t know it. A quick check if you answer yes to three or more of the following questions,

Do you cough several times most days? 
Do you bring up phlegm or mucus most days?
Do you get out of breath more easily than others your age?
Are you over 35? 
Are you a current smoker or an ex-smoker?  

If you have these symptoms, you should contact your doctor or practice nurse to discuss COPD.  They can help to improve symptoms and slow down any damage to lungs, by advising on smoking cessation and treatment for COPD. When COPD is found early there are steps that can be taken to prevent further lung damage and treatment to make you feel better.  

Andrew Wardman, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine says: “COPD is the modern term for conditions previously called chronic bronchitis and emphysema when there is narrowing of the airways.  Nowadays in particular when people are able to stop smoking significant improvement in their condition can be achieved.”

World COPD Day aims to encourage adults, especially smokers, or those exposed to excessive amounts of smoke at work or home, to see their physician if they have symptoms of COPD. Anyone who would like help in stopping smoking should contact the Smoking Cessation team at Kings Cross Court (Telephone on 01942 482539).

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