16 November 2016
On World COPD Day (Wednesday 16 November), Royal Brompton & Harefield honorary consultant physicians, Dr Nicholas Hopkinson and Dr Omar Usmani, lent their support and expertise to the national Respiratory Health 2016 awareness campaign, in collaboration with the British Lung Foundation.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of respiratory health, in particular chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), and calls on the government to set up a respiratory taskforce to develop a five-year strategy to improve lung health.
COPD is an umbrella term for a number of lung conditions, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It is a major cause of ill health in the UK affecting around one million people.
According to Dr Hopkinson, clinical lead for COPD at Royal Brompton, the condition can go unnoticed for many years. He says:
“Newly-diagnosed patients often describe symptoms going back 10 to 15 years, but assumed that breathlessness was just a sign of ageing and their cough was just a ‘smoker’s cough’, not a sign of a serious lung condition.
“People with symptoms of cough, sputum and breathlessness, especially if they have a history of smoking should have a simple test to check their lung function.”
Read Dr Hopkinson’s article in the Guardian newspaper launching the campaign
Also marking the launch of the campaign, Dr Usmani describes the technological progress that is transforming testing and treatment for the disease, including the use of stents or coils to collapse damaged parts of the lung, allowing healthy lung tissue to grow into that area.
Dr Usmani comments: “These are ‘watch this space’ developments”, and despite continuing challenges, “these are exciting times in COPD testing and treatment”.
Read Dr Usmani’s full article
Royal Brompton Hospital offers a world class, multidisciplinary service both to patients in the local community and to patients from across the country, referred to the advanced COPD service.
Within the Trust expertise is available in non-invasive ventilation (NIV), interventional bronchoscopy and surgical intervention as well as the systemic manifestations, epidemiology and basic disease mechanisms of COPD.