This post was written by Dr. Stephanie LaBedz, pulmonologist and post-doctoral research fellow, and Ellen Stein, senior research specialist. Both authors represented the Breathe Chicago Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago at the November 13th meeting, “COPD National Action Plan: Tracking Our Progress,” hosted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Perspectives from Stephanie LaBedz, MD
As a pulmonologist who cares for patients with COPD, I am all too familiar with the many challenges faced by patients with COPD, their caregivers, and the healthcare providers who strive to improve the lives of these patients...
Guest blog by Mike Hess, RRT, RPFT
One of my all-time favorite TV shows is Battlestar Galactica. While I grew up with the campy, cheesy original with Lorne Greene shepherding the “rag-tag fugitive fleet” to a new home among the stars, I actually prefer the more recent 2005 reboot. This version took a much more grounded, realistic approach to storytelling and moral discussion. One of the recurring motifs of the show is the phrase, “This has all happened before, and it will happen again,” and ideas like resurrection, learning from history, and breaking cycles.
Unfortunately, this motif seems to have become all too real for anyone involved in the lung health community. I was recently at a meeting of one of our local Better Breathers groups to discuss the upcoming launch of a new Harmonicas for Health program, and the group facilitator had brought some prints of old cigarette ads. The messages on these ads ranged from the clinical (“20,679 Physicians Say “Luckies are less irritating!”) to the risqué (“Blow in her face, and she’ll follow you anywhere”), but a common theme is that certain cigarettes are awesome. They’re what the cool kids like Lucille Ball and Bob Hope are doing, and some of them can actually even be good for you. After all, if the typical smoker inhales 200 times per day, that’s “200 good reasons you’re better off smoking Philip Morris,” right? They’re proven mild! (**NOTE: Most of these ads are available at https://gizmodo.com/14-absurd-ads-from-before-we-knew-cigarettes-could-kill-1499396560 for citation and/or pictures, Hope/Ball ads are at http://exhibits.library.yale.edu/exhibits/show/sellingsmoke/celebrities**)
We know better these days, of course. We know that no cigarettes are healthy, no cigarettes work to improve asthma, bronchospasm, or anything else, and it wasn’t cigarettes that won World War II. We know that these statements are absurd and ridiculous. But we also know we’re seeing the same kinds of imagery and arguments being used right now to support electronic nicotine delivery systems, or ENDS. These devices, more commonly known as vapes or e-cigarettes, are becoming nearly ubiquitous in modern society, much like smoking once was. And, again as in the case of their combustible ancestors, these devices are being sold as an indispensable accessory for an aspirational lifestyle.
Imagine if you will, you’re seeing one of your folks with COPD. Inpatient, outpatient, doesn’t really matter. You’ve seen Mr. or Mrs. X more often than you should have over the past few months. No matter what you do, they keep coming back to your office (or worse, heading to the emergency department) with uncontrollable shortness of breath. You ask them if they’re using their inhaled medications and they tell you, “Yes, of course.” You’ve heard that before, but a quick check of the counter seems in line with at least most of the expected doses. You’ve run through pretty much the whole gamut of meds in the desired class, so now what? There’s nothing left, right? Maybe this is just where they’re going to live from now on./p>
Or maybe not. Although many people have an idea of inhalers being easy-to-use medication delivery systems because that’s usually what they see on TV, anyone who has ever had to use one (or teach one) knows that’s simply not true. Inhaler technique is a learned skill, no different from driving a car or riding a bicycle (or typing a blog entry). Like many other skills, use of an inhaler is not necessarily mastered quickly or without practice; however, if we truly hope to be effective in helping our patients live their best lives, we must start taking more time to evaluate their technique and guide them toward mastery.
Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), which carries a high morbidity and economic burden worldwide, can be even more physically and economically devastating to individuals with COPD, according to a new study posted online in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation. The study was conducted by the COPD Foundation in collaboration with and funded by Pfizer Inc.
“Patient-Reported Consequences of Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease,” one of the first studies to include only COPD participants and individuals younger than 60, concluded that individuals with COPD suffering from CAP will miss an average of 21 days from work, be impaired from normal activities for more than 30 days and experience weeks of lingering symptoms.
This post was written by Jane Martin, BA, LRT, CRT, Assistant Director of Education at the COPD Foundation. Read more about what you can do to enhance the level of communication with your patients.
As a healthcare provider for individuals with COPD, you are well aware that many of these individuals have similar experiences related to their disease. However, the ways patients work with their healthcare providers and what they expect from them can vary greatly…
This post was authored by Danny Pham, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP, BCGP, Inpatient Care Transitions Pharmacist at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Plano. Read more about their successful COPD readmissions reduction efforts in this latest PRAXIS Nexus blog post.
Before we started our COPD program at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Plano, our readmission rate was similar to other institutions across the country. We knew there was more we could do to help our patients better understand their condition, be more engaged with controlling their respiratory symptoms, and take a proactive role in slowing the progression of their disease ...
For individuals with COPD, there is a lot of medical information to take in. Once they have that information, there is also lots to keep track of – medications, specific nutritional needs, safe exercise methods, level of activity, oxygen use if needed and more. As if this were not overwhelming enough, they must then sort through this information, process it and ask the right questions – vital questions in order to know what they need to manage their COPD and stay well.
You may have heard the old saying “Two heads are better than one.” This really does hold true, especially when it comes to optimizing health. And this is why it can help to have a “health buddy.”
Patients and patient-led organizations are becoming more active participants in discussions about how to address health challenges on a global level. By Bret Denning, COPD Foundation Care Delivery and Communications Program Specialist
In 2018, Pfizer hosted a luncheon briefing, Global Trends in Health Care, with an emphasis on the role patients and patient-led organizations can play in influencing policy. Moderated by Angela Wasussa, Vice President of Global Policy at Pfizer, the panel featured renowned experts from around the world.
By Bret Denning, COPD Foundation Care Delivery and Communications Program Specialist
Several COPD Foundation staff members attended a workshop on how the COPD National Action Plan can be used to advocate for better treatment options in rural America. Here is one analysis of the workshop and the common themes that emerged from the day.
In 2018, I attended a workshop at the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute (NHLBI), COPD & Rural Health: A Dialogue on the National Action Plan. It was a fascinating conversation on how the different components of the COPD National Action Plan can be transformed from theory into actual practice in rural America.
Read our latest PRAXIS Nexus case study! Today, we will learn more about Meg S., age 62.
Meg S. was referred to pulmonary rehabilitation following a visit with her primary care provider. Here is some of the information shared in the pulmonary rehab intake interview.
Past utilization: Meg has been seen in the ER x 3 over the last three months for extreme shortness of breath, rib pain and intractable cough, feeling as if she’s “choking on my phlegm.” On the second visit, she refused an overnight admission to acute care due to obligations at home. One week later, on her third visit, in addition to nebulizer treatments, low flow O2, and smoking cessation counseling, she was provided with an Acapella device for secretion mobilization.
Last November, the COPD Foundation's Jane Martin had the honor of attending the first Rude2Respect Summit in Evanston, Illinois. The summit was a gathering of individuals representing more than 40 chronic health conditions or disabilities – disorders often confronted with the burden of health-related stigma. Read about her experience attending and reflecting on this important event.
Meet Susan M! Share your impressions in our latest COPD case study.
Summary of in-patient admission: Susan M. is being discharged today following a 6-day ICU and step-down admission for acute exacerbation of COPD with bacterial pneumonia requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation for a period of 32 hours. Subsequent to her extubation and transfer to the step down unit she was treated with oral antibiotics and Albuterol and Ipratropium nebulizer q 4 hrs. and prn at noc.
At the recent annual conference of the American Association for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) in Charleston, South Carolina, the COPD Foundation's Jane Martin, BA, LRT, CRT met Robyn West, a representative of the Breathe at Ease program. She was impressed not only with the Breathe at Ease program outcomes but with Robyn’s enthusiasm. Over the following weeks Robyn and her colleagues talked with members of the COPD Foundation's Care Delivery Team about this exciting new COPD management program. Here is a summary of that conversation.
We're interested in your thoughts on our latest COPD case study: Jim B., a 68-year-old man here for his Phase II Pulmonary Rehabilitation intake interview.
A bit more about Jim:
Medical history: COPD, FEV1 six weeks ago was 38% of normal predicted, recent CXR shows flattened diaphragm with increased AP diameter, appendectomy age 34, broken nose and broken right arm as a child.
Samuel Louie, MD directs the UC Davis Asthma Network (UCAN) and the ROAD Center. ROAD (Reversible Obstructive Airway Diseases) includes COPD and the Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome. He currently serves as Director, Department of Respiratory Care at UC Davis Medical Center and is Medical Director for the California Society for Respiratory Care. His research interests include asthma, COPD, pulmonary rehabilitation and clinical outcomes in chronic disease management. From his personal philosophy of care: “Empathy is not an occupational hazard for me. The treatment of my patients’ diseases may be impersonal, but the education and care of every patient I have is completely personal. When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.” Read our conversation with him here!