Treatment is like a breath of fresh air
Last updated at 12:17, Thursday, 15 November 2012
A NEW exercise programme for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is helping patients breathe easier, reports JO DAVIES
LIKE many people with a chronic chest complaint Pauline Rigg, of Dalton, had come to dread this time of year.
Being prone to chest infections she struggled through winter and in January she was admitted to Furness General Hospital’s high dependency unit with pneumonia-type symptoms.
But thanks to a new exercise programme she’s approaching this winter with a new-found confidence.
The 59-year-old explained: “When I went for my check up I was asked if I would like to take part in this new programme and I jumped at the chance – anything that would help me control my breathing!”
She attends sessions at Barrow’s Park Leisure Centre run by the Furness respiratory team, which involve a group warm up, a tailored exercise programme, finishing with a multi-disciplinary educational talk.
“The classes are a wonderful idea as they have given me the confidence to get out of my house,” Pauline added.
“After my first attack of breathlessness I had to be taken to the hospital and when I came back home I was so scared to even walk out of the house wondering when another attack might strike. Coming to pulmonary rehab has gradually made me aware of my own capabilities and I know how far to go before I have to stop to take a breath.”
The pulmonary rehabilitations classes are for anybody with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – an umbrella term for a group of lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asbestosis.
The Furness respiratory team is pushing hard to raise awareness of COPD to encourage more people to get diagnosed.
They hope the sessions will be prescribed by medical professionals upon diagnosing COPD in a patient.
Using the analogy, respiratory physiotherapist for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Puja Trivedi said: “It’s like fixing a crack as soon as you spot it, instead of waiting for the building to crumble.”
Patients have reported improvements after just the first session, their stamina has improved, and they have learnt better breathing technique.
“I wish I had accessed this sooner,” added Pauline.
“It teaches you how to control your breathing. It might not sound very nice, but when you do get a chest infection, we’ve been taught how to bring phlegm up. It’s learning coping strategies. I was dreading the winter. it’s coming up the worst time for COPD sufferers. I’m more confident now that I’ve been here.”
Lifting a pair of one-pound weights strapped to his ankles, Gordon Ferrier demonstrated seated knee raises. He has to do 12 knee raises on each leg, before moving round the work stations in the Club Max gym.
The 75-year-old from Barrow, explained: “This is a hip exercise. It helps general abdominal strength. I’ve been on a lot of high steroids but this paunch is gradually going,” he said, patting his stomach.
“I do the knee raise, hip raise, pecs, shoulder pulls, chest press – it’s all made out individually for each person.
“Most of them I can do at home with dumbbells. I have rigged up a set of weights for my ankles and I just carry on at home. We’re supposed to do it every day.”
Gordon has a blood disease, called vasculitis – his body’s immune system attacks his red blood cells, with recurrent chest infections being one of the side effects.
He has done a similar course in the past but a spell in hospital set him back so he’s viewing this programme as a welcome refresher.
“I’ve done a course already, about two years ago, and the benefit was great,” he said.
“My breathing got better and you can carry on at home. I bought all the equipment and then I was very ill for a while and it fell by the wayside. But now I’ve been put on this course, which is good. If I get a chest infection I know how to cope with it.”
Puja added: “When they initially come in I do a tailored nursing assessment and once that is done the physical assessment is about what their capabilities are.
“The first session is quite tiring and after that they build up their stamina.
“The patient population is around 60 and above, so the first week is getting them used to the equipment and seeing how things work.”
Puja considers each person’s personal circumstances when tailoring the programme.
“I wouldn’t tell someone to walk upstairs if they lived in a bungalow,” she explained.
The programme runs for six weeks, patients attend twice a week for two hours, and after six months they return for a booster session.
“We go through the exercises and if they’ve dropped down we put them back on track and go through what they’ve learnt,” said Puja.
“They can always call us if they’re stuck with ideas of what to do next. There are 12 people on the new programme and we’ve had some very positive responses.”
The Mayor of Barrow, Wendy Maddox, and the Mayoress, Dorothy Ashburner, attended the NHS respiratory class to raise awareness of COPD and the support that is available for people suffering from the condition.
“My dad suffered for years with emphysema. If he had been to the doctors and the doctor said he had to go and do something like this I would have made him come,” said Councillor Maddox.
“I know somebody who died of asbestosis and if I got to a point where I was breathless I would come and see Puja. I’ve every regard for this and think it’s a good thing and keeps people going.”
First published at 16:25, Wednesday, 14 November 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
- Time to return to homeland
- Search for details of a silver swim trophy
- Name found for steelworks bandsman
- Long way to reach event
- Latest diesel engine took part in Barrow parade
- It’s time to stop making excuses
- Delays prove the need for hospital
- Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be
- Well-paid jobs are essential
- Smell of jobs is returning
- Silver trowel and first outing of soldiers for school’s birth
- Look at who lived where
- Seeking out iron reserves
- Bike repair shop goes to auction
- Names found for pair of meat trade workers
- Laundry goes to war on waste
- Another face at meal for unemployed
- Ashley Francis and Bradley Nicholls
- Ulverston brimmed with good cheer (1 comment)
- Make views on changes known
- I enjoy the festive season, but not yet
- It’s time for the Time Lord
- Old slides tell story of a family butcher’s firm
- Pupils speed their way to a minibus
- Barrow grabs the Real Deal
- Email us
- Send us your pictures
- Send us your news
- Send us your views
- Staff contacts
- Family Notices
- Competition rules
- Advertise with us
- Reader Travel
- CN Letterbox
- Find It in Furness
- CV Link
- Online shop
- CN Research
- Eye Care Savings
- Halifax loans
- ‘Three years? We couldn’t believe it’ Barrow killer victim's family speak out (39 comments)
- Principal of Furness Academy in Barrow steps down (10 comments)
- Barrow killer ‘in pieces’ at death of his victim
- UPDATE: Vicious dog located after woman attacked in Barrow (7 comments)
- Train hits cow in Cumbria, line reopens (2 comments)
To save our contact details direct to your smartphone simply scan this QR code
|Evening Mail Going Out|
|Boosting Barrow and Furness|
|Love your life, Live your life||Community news pages - join the Facebook page for your town or village|