‘Know your normal’ message for World COPD Day
Respiratory nurses at Airedale Hospital are supporting a national awareness day for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
To mark World COPD Day 2018 on 21 November the respiratory nurses are inviting people to visit them on the top landing above the main entrance volunteers’ cafe at Airedale Hospital from 1pm – 3.30pm, for advice and tips on managing COPD, ahead of the cold weather this winter.
COPD is a progressive lung disease caused by chronic inflammation, which results in airflow restriction causing breathing difficulties. It is estimated that approximately 900,000 people are diagnosed with COPD in the UK each year, although it is understood that there are approximately 3 million living with the disease, meaning 2 million people are left undiagnosed. People who have a diagnosis of COPD can remain well if they take their prescribed prevented inhalers, exercise regularly, eat well and stop smoking.
Specialist respiratory nurse Colette Scully is keen that people ‘know their normal’: “Anyone who has COPD knows their normal every day symptoms. These include knowing what normally causes them to be breathless, whether they usually have a cough and if they do what colour their phlegm usually is. Knowing what is normal for them can then help them to recognise quickly when they are becoming unwell with a flare up.
“Our advice is that if there is a worsening of two of their normal symptoms over a couple of days they should seek early advice from their GP or health professional involved in their care, or by calling 111 at evening and weekends. Early treatment can prevent deterioration and further lung damage, and can avoid an unnecessary trip to hospital.
“We’re inviting people to visit us on our information stand on the 21st to discuss how to ‘know your normal’, how to develop a basic self-management plan and provide other advice on COPD.”
World COPD Day is supported by the British Lung Foundation, who provide advice, information and a test about general breathlessness, and tips for managing COPD on their website www.blf.org.uk.