Tullamore Hospital marks world COPD day

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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news@offalyexpress.ie

Tullamore Hospital marks world COPD day

Tullamore Hospital marks world COPD day

To celebrate World COPD Day the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore hosted an information and awareness stand in the main foyer, Wednesday, November 21.

The goal of the day was to improve awareness of COPD among the general public and staff across the Hospital. The information stand was supported by a multidisciplinary team across medicine, respiratory and physiotherapy services.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the term used to describe multiple chronic lung diseases that make it hard to breath. These diseases include Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema. COPD is highly prevalent and a major cause of mortality and the fourth leading cause of death in Ireland in 2016.

The common signs and symptoms of COPD are shortness of breath, persistent (chronic) cough, coughing up mucus/phlegm and wheezing.  You can also experience fatigue/tiredness, weight loss or gain and morning headaches. Over time, these signs and symptoms may become more problematic because COPD is a chronic and progressive disease. This means that COPD typically gets worse as time goes on and cannot be cured.

If you have COPD the medical advice is that simple changes can make a difference to your quality of life such as avoid triggers (smoking, environmental), avoid illness such as flu, develop healthy eating habits and exercise. The medical treatment of COPD is dependent on the individual and the treating physician and patients are supported by interventions such as short-acting rescue inhalers, daily COPD medications, flu vaccine, pulmonary rehabilitation and oxygen therapy.

Avril Gannon, Clinical Nurse Specialist Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore said, “COPD is not curable but it is a very manageable condition. We are here to raise awareness of COPD, the signs and symptoms, to teach people how to self-manage and the importance of activity."

"As winter approaches we would also encourage patients to receive the flu vaccine as COPD patients are at a greater risk of developing pneumonia. If you are particularly troubled with breathlessness and are limited with exercise due to breathlessness we run a pulmonary rehabilitation programme here in Tullamore Hospital which is focused on improving the quality of life of a COPD patient.”

Triona Cusack, Chartered Physiotherapist Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore said, “We are here to show the effectiveness of self management and the services that are here in the hospital and through the HSE. One of these services is the pulmonary rehabilitation programme and our physiotherapy team are part of this service."

"Our aim is to reduce the shortness of breath, improve the overall exercise capacity and increase quality of life for the patient.  If you would like to avail of this service you should contact your GP in the first instance.”

Mr. John Doherty, Consultant Physician and member of acute medical team, Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore said, “Acute worsening of this condition forms a large part of our hospital work and occasionally patients require intensive care management."

"If you have symptoms of chronic cough, shortness of breath and have not yet had a diagnosis, we would advise that you seek information from either your GP or pharmacist. If you have a diagnosis of obstructive airways disease, bronchitis or emphysema we would suggest you are aware of your inhaler technique and the benefits of prevention including smoking cessation and availing of the flu vaccination.”

Further information on COPD is available here.