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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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Cumbria clinicians encourage residents with lung disease to join Breathe Easy courses

CLINICIANS are encouraging people with chronic lung diseases to mark Breathe Easy Week and take advantage of a service that is proven to help sufferers.

Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging people who have a chronic lung disease such as COPD, bronchiectasis, pulmonary fibrosis or chronic asthma, and those who struggle with breathlessness during daily activity, to take part in a seven week pulmonary rehabilitation course.

The service is tailored to each patient’s needs and will help to improve breathlessness and fitness.

Karen Donaldson, clinical lead and specialist respiratory physiotherapist for South Lakes, said: “Pulmonary rehab is one of the only treatments that can help people with lung disease do more and become less breathless. It has been shown to reduce people’s risk of being admitted to hospital and the time spent going to their GP because of their condition.

“Research has proven that people who finish the course of pulmonary rehab have a better quality of life, improved physical fitness and are much less breathless than prior to starting the course. Because of this, it is recognised nationally as a best practice treatment.”

On average the course last for seven weeks, consists of two classes a week and takes place in community venues around the county.

During the course, specialist physiotherapists guide patients through the types of light exercise they can do to help their specific condition.

Nationally, the number of people with COPD is rising. The British Lung Foundation estimates that there are 3.7 million people in the UK living with COPD, of which only 900,000 have been diagnosed.

In Cumbria, there are 11,033 people who have been diagnosed with COPD, however, this research would suggest that there are nearly 22,000 still undiagnosed.

Anyone who has a chronic lung disease and struggles with breathlessness should ask their GP or practice nurse whether a referral to a pulmonary rehabilitation course is suitable.

Breathe Easy Week will be held from June 16 to 20.

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