You may live with it, and not even know it!
Nurse On Call, joins the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s COPD Learn More Breathe Better® campaign in observance of National COPD Awareness Month, this November, by hosting a series of educational workshops and screening. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a serious lung disease that over time makes it difficult to breathe. Also known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, the disease develops slowly and worsens over time — causing many to dismiss symptoms and delay seeking diagnosis and treatment until COPD is in its late stages. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COPD is now the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States, COPD is estimated to affect 24 million people nationwide, yet as many as half remain undiagnosed.
“We often see symptoms of COPD, such as a chronic cough or shortness of breath, mistaken as a normal sign of aging or being out of shape. That is why this November, during National COPD Awareness Month, Nurse On Call is providing community seminars and screenings to raise awareness of COPD and encourage individuals who may be at risk to talk to their health care provider,” said Denise Handlin, Respiratory Therapist for Nurse On Call.
Many people who suffer from COPD may visit their doctor regularly but not mention the symptoms — either because they don’t think it matters or they forget they even have the symptoms. Raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of COPD is critical to getting patients and providers talking in the exam room — and ultimately to facilitating earlier diagnosis and treatment.
Symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, chronic coughing or wheezing, producing excess sputum, or feeling unable to take a deep breath. COPD most often occurs in people age 40 and over with a history of smoking (either current or former smokers). However, as many as one in six people with COPD have never smoked. Long-term environmental exposure to things that can irritate your lungs as well as certain genetic conditions can also play a role.
Nurse On Call is so committed to COPD and other respiratory ailments that they added a Respiratory Therapy Team. This is a non billable service designed to improve the quality of life and patient outcomes. Nurse On Call is one of the very few Home Health agencies in the country who has a full time RT to asses and individualize patients needs based on diagnosis and disease process. The therapist helps patient with breathing techniques, medication management, educating caregivers, teaching caregivers on trach patients and troubleshooting bipap/cpap patients. Therapist can even perform pulmonary rehab in the home for the COPD patient.
The Pulmonary Rehab and education management process may include a variety of different disciplines along with the Respiratory Therapist such as, Home Nursing, Psych Nursing, Physical and/or Occupational Therapy visits and Social Services. For more information about Nurse On Call’s COPD specialty services please contact your local branch at (239) 643-9940.