Feeling breathless, persistent cough and wheezing?

Feeling breathless, persistent cough or wheezing? You could be one of the 2.1 million undiagnosed cases of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). To mark World COPD day on Wednesday 16th November the Respiratory Nurses at the NNUH will be having an information stand in the East Atrium from 9.00am onwards.

COPD1 is the only major cause of death which is increasing in the UK2, it is vital that those at risk get their lungs tested.

To mark World COPD Day on 16th November, the Respiratory Nurses at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, alongside the British Lung Foundation (BLF) is running a special event to raise awareness of COPD, at the NNUH to encourage people who are at risk or showing symptoms to have their lung function checked.  In 2005 COPD is poised to overtake breast cancer to become the UK’s fourth biggest killer of women3.

Dame Helena Shovelton, Chief Executive of the BLF, said “COPD is a hugely debilitating disease and it is the only major cause of death increasing in the UK.  It is vital that we not only raise awareness of the condition, but also of the symptoms.  We all know someone at risk of COPD.  It is vital that they get diagnosed as early as possible”.

Smokers and ex-smokers are particularly at risk of developing the disease, especially if aged over 35 and have smoked at least 20 cigarettes a day for 20 years.  Symptoms progressively restrict a person’s ability to breathe and include persistent coughing, wheezing, excessive production of phlegm and ongoing shortness of breath.

Sandra Olive and Paula Browne, Respiratory Nurses at the NNUH said “We are keen to raise awareness of COPD to people in our area.  Early detection using a simple spirometry test, stopping smoking and staying as active as possible can make all the difference to a persons’ health.”

With some 900,000 people around the country diagnosed with COPD – and 2.1 million undiagnosed – the BLF aims to encourage people to seek a correct diagnosis, to receive early treatment to improve their quality of life and to get help with smoking cessation, if needed.

Anyone who is concerned about COPD should visit their GP. 

For further information about Breathe Easy, Norwich, our local support group please contact the NNUH Respiratory Nurses on 01603 289779 or come and visit them on Wednesday 16th November in the East Atrium from 9.00am – 5.00pm.

Alternatively for free information leaflets and booklets call 020 7688 5555 or visit www.lunguk.org

Free advice and help is also available to those who want to give up smoking, contact Cignificant, Norfolk's Stop Smoking Service on 0800 0854 113 or visit www.cignificant.co.uk

Notes for Editors

1 COPD is an umbrella terms for chronic bronchitis and emphysema
2 Breathing Fear – The COPD Effect, British Lung Foundation 2003
3 Data obtained and extrapolated from Office for National Statistics on female mortality in the UK from 1997 to 2003

Monday 14th of November 2005 11:00:33 AM