Oct 31, 2017 PERF Monthly Newsletter – October 2017
Here is a roundup of the articles, news & updates that we've published on the PERF blog site during the past month. Click on the "Read More" link at the bottom of each excerpt to read the full article.
Hurricane Cleanup and Health: Be Aware Of Health Dangers Before Entering A Flooded Home
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria threatened life and destroyed property in massive proportions, as we all witnessed in numerous on-the-scene reports by news outlets around the globe. Now that the storms have passed, it’s important to be aware of a less-discussed set of health dangers that lurk in the aftermath of the winds and flooding: electrocution, carbon monoxide poisoning, infections, and lung damage caused by exposure to excessive amounts of mold. This last danger is especially severe for those who suffer from lung disease, including COPD patients.
Public Initiatives That Affect Lung Health
Broader health benefits for people suffering from respiratory health challenges. Sounds good, right?
It may be a dream not yet attained, but that’s not for lack of trying. At the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Presidential Summit last June, President Professor Guy Joos spoke with Ricardo Baptiste Leite, Member of Parliament in Portugal, and Jan De Maeseneer, the Director of the International Centre for Primary Health Care in Ghent, Belgium, about public respiratory health initiatives and the need to break the barrier between public health and the rest of the health care system. Public health is defined as the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing and responding to infectious diseases.
Lung Protection for COPD Patients in Wildfire Areas
With all the fires burning in California, we wanted to give you some quick information on how to protect yourself from lung irritation if you’re located near a fire. If you have COPD, inhaling wildfire smoke can be especially harmful.
The best protection is to leave the area if you possibly can. If you can’t, then do everything you can to minimize lung irritation. Stay indoors. Reduce your physical activity. If you must go outdoors, it may be a good idea to wear a mask. Use the respirator face masks that have two straps and are approved by the The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (marked N95, N100 or P100). DO NOT use surgical masks!!
Does COPD Discriminate Against Women? Differences in COPD Between the Sexes
You’d think that a disease would not discriminate between men and women, but COPD does. The manifestations of COPD, both biological and cultural, differ between the two sexes. This difference has importance in both properly diagnosing and treating the disease.
Not only does the disease affect men and women differently, but doctors (statistically speaking) treat male and female COPD patients differently as well. Most significant are the data regarding diagnosis of the disease itself. More women than men are underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed every year, often being diagnosed with asthma when COPD is the correct diagnosis.
Substances and Activities That Can Trigger COPD Flare-ups: A Survey
Patients and their medical care providers have known for some time that environmental factors can trigger a COPD flare-up, but this knowledge was based mostly on anecdotal evidence. A few years ago, a study collected and analyzed data on these triggers and their effects on COPD.
The COPD Trigger Study
In the study, 167 COPD patients were surveyed about their daily activities and any chemical exposures that might be irritating to the respiratory system. Questions included whether engagement in certain activities or exposure to certain products or chemicals affected their breathing and whether as a result they avoided these triggers, or took additional medications at the time of exposure.
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