Opelousas General Health System to Celebrate World COPD Day

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Learn about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease at World COPD Day

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“We are excited to celebrate World COPD Day, the eighth celebration at OGHS and the only one in Acadiana,” said Dr. Jose’ Santiago. ‘Our focus was to bring awareness about the disease, its rick factors, symptoms and treatment,” he added.

In conjunction with World COPD Day (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), Pulmonologist Jose’ Santiago, M.D., and Opelousas General Health System will hold an awareness seminar using this year’s theme “It’s Not Too Late”, Thursday, November 19, 2015 in the Opelousas General Health System Auditorium from 10:30am-1pm.

The event will be held to raise awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease worldwide. In its 15th year, World COPD Day extends globally. This year free screenings will be available to attendees, including a screening for genetic emphysema disorder.

“We are excited to celebrate World COPD Day, the eighth celebration at OGHS and the only one in Acadiana,” said Dr. Jose’ Santiago. ‘Our focus was to bring awareness about the disease, its rick factors, symptoms and treatment.”

Santiago will speak at 12.15 p.m. in the hospital auditorium about the disease and how important it is to find and treat it in the early stages.

COPD is a highly prevalent disease, has a large impact on quality of life for patients and their families, and kills millions of people worldwide. Yet perhaps one-quarter to one-half of people with clinically significant COPD don’t know they have it. Reducing the burden of COPD worldwide depends on identifying a greater proportion of the people who have developed the disease, and getting them treatment and other help.

The early stages of COPD are often unrecognized, in part because many individuals discount symptoms such as breathlessness, chronic cough, and bringing up phlegm as a normal part of getting older or an expected consequence of cigarette smoking. For people whose breathless is more severe, the knowledge of COPD as an incurable disease may be a frightening prospect that discourages them from seeking a diagnosis and treatment.

Without treatment, COPD is generally a progressive disease, and as the disease gets worse patients become breathless during everyday activities such as climbing a flight of stairs, walking the dog, or even getting dressed in the morning. Finding COPD early gives the best chance to prevent further lung damage. Treatments are available to help people at all stages of disease feel better and live a more active life. A simple, painless breathing test called spirometry can confirm whether a person has COPD.

Also important in the fight against COPD is reducing exposure to risk factors for the disease. Worldwide, the most common encountered risk factor for COPD is cigarette smoking. Other important risk factors include dusts and chemicals encountered on the job and smoke from biomass fuels (such as coal, wood, and animal dung) burned for cooking and heating in poorly ventilated dwellings, especially in developing countries.

Also in attendance will be respiratory and pharmaceutical representatives with literature on medications. FREE LUNG HEALTH SCREENINGS, Oxygen therapy education, exercise therapy displays, nutrition information, art display and patient testimonials. Refreshments will also be available to attendees.

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Deanna LeJeune
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Opelousas General Health System
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