• We get mail....(lots of it!)
  • John says he has been told that he is in stage 2 of lung disease and wants to know what that means.
  • Dear John,
  • We think you are referring to GOLD Stage-2, which is a pretty wide middle ground between 50 and 80% of predicted FEV1. The GOLD Website is at http://www.goldcopd.com if you would like more information. The summary document has the tables you may want. You can also look up pocket guides and spirometry.
  • This stage is a wake up call to take care of yourself. You should get a consultation with a pulmonologist about the right inhalers, a pneumonia shot, annual flu shots and, very importantly, start an exercise regime. Needless to say, stop smoking if you haven't already done so!
  • Fred notes that in a 2nd Wind Newsletter dated February 2004 Dr. Thomas Petty refers to 'ambulatory oxygen' and 'stationary oxygen'. He wants us to tell him the difference.
  • Dear Fred,
  • A stationary system would be an oxygen concentrator or a large container of liquid oxygen used for refill purposes. The term "ambulatory" varies according to who is using it. Some providers consider a 22-pound E-cylinder lasting 4 hours at 2 liters per minute ambulatory. We don't. More accurately, the E-cylinder is something that can be moved. An Oxygen Consensus Conference several years ago stated that the container should weigh less than 10 pounds with 8 hours of oxygen use at 2 liters per minute. Current improvements have resulted in systems weighing less than 5 pounds (some only 3.5), which last 8 hours. Those of us who work with respiratory patients are struggling to make that kind of system available to all patients.
  • A system that small is truly portable. Walking and exercising with oxygen then becomes possible. Hope that helps.

  • Have you noticed that Dr. Petty is now using different stationery? When we asked why he was using Snowdrift stationery rather than NLHEP (National Lung Health Program) this was his reply.
  • I am president of Snowdrift and also of NLHEP, which I am transferring to the AARC (American Association of Respiratory Care). I feel that with the infrastructure of a society to promote our programs on COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), we can be even more effective than in the past. The AARC is the official organization of the respiratory therapists that numbers approximately 130,000. These professionals are in virtually every hospital in the USA and can be the grass roots "foot soldiers," who can carry out the mission of the NLHEP. We are now turning over the NLHEP to the AARC including the foundation. We will keep Snowdrift as the home for what ever we want to write about COPD and related topics including lung cancer that closely relates to COPD. Everything on Snowdrift can be found on http://www.lungcancerfrontiers.org
  • Briefly, The Snowdrift Pulmonary Conference is a not for profit corporation founded by me and a few others about 9 years ago for the purpose of writing monographs and other publications for primary care physicians. This is where, and how, we publish the Frontline Treatment series of monographs, which so far, have been supported and distributed by Boehringer Ingelheim. Our first one was Frontline Treatment of COPD, which has been revised and is now in the second edition, published in 2000. We also wrote an excellent monograph on Dyspnea. These are the ones that we have written at Great Slave Lake in Canada. Nine pulmonologists with broad experiences in both academic medicine and private practice write these consensus documents on an annual basis. Boehringer distributes them, but some of them have had little visibility. Our most popular one was written for patients, entitled Frontline Advice for COPD Patients, and is also distributed by Boehringer. The one in press and soon to be published is Frontline Update in COPD. AARC will publish this one. Some of these can be found on the web site http://www.nlhep.org.
  • Snowdrift also publishes a quarterly newsletter on the early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. This one goes to all board certified pulmonologists in the USA and Canada. It has a web site: http://www.lungcancerfrontiers.org. Some of our NLHEP monographs are there too. Snowdrift has had a variety of pharmaceutical sponsors but presently has none. I am still printing the next issue on a grant that I have about lung cancer. Both foundations are 501-(c)3 not for profit corporations under the IRS.
  • Thanks, Dr. Petty! Now we understand. Your letter of the month is one of the first things we read in each new edition. Dr. Tom tells us that he appreciates the letters that you send, so keep them coming

  • Donations
  • Greetings to the Better Breathers Club of Wm. Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI and thanks to W.R. Sponsler.
  • The Jerry Donatoni family has been overwhelmed by the response to their request for donations to PERF in memory of their beloved husband and father. They wrote to tell us that PERF has been a great support to their family and that they shared the newsletters with Jerry's "Breathing Buddies" support group.
  • His wife Stella continued, "We are grateful for the research that enabled Jerry to benefit from home oxygen therapy and the newest medications. We are also painfully aware that while patients are surviving longer, it is often at a significantly reduced quality of life. We are therefore pleased to send this additional sum for COPD research in Jerry's name from his family Stella, Giannina, Paul, Giuliana and Margherita as well as those from our relatives, friends and colleagues."
  • Additional donations this month came from Lisa &Marcello Menga, Anita Comeau, Jay & Sam Manders, Tony & Fay Soesanto, Lim Hoe & Reny Tan, Lim Hok & Agnes Tan, Lim Pwe & Cisca Tan, Burt & Isabelle Wilkins, The Brotman Hospital Rehabilitation Department, the Los Angeles County (DHS) Sexually Transmitted Disease Program and the USC Kenneth Norris Pharmacy. We can promise all of you that your donations will be earmarked for research into advancing the fight against COPD.
  • Enclosed in their letter was an advertisement for a "safe" cigarette, which was published in the April 1, 2004 issue of Woman's Day. They hoped that we would print an official response from PERF in our newsletter. As long time supporters of smoking restrictions, we will be pleased to do that in an upcoming edition of the Second Wind.

  • Do you have a question about respiratory disease that has been bothering you? If so, feel free to write and ask us, either through our web site or by mail. We answer all of your letters.