World COPD day event a huge success

The World COPD Day patient information event held in Forfar’s Guide Hall has been hailed a huge success.

It is an annual event organised by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease to improve awareness and care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease around the world. COPD is an umbrella term for a number of progressive lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It is the fifth biggest killer in the UK and the World Health Organisation (WHO) lists it as the fourth leading cause of death worldwide.

The theme for the 2011 event was ‘Are you short of breath? You may have COPD! Ask your doctor about a simple breathing test called spirometry.’

This year’s event was officially opened by the Dowager Countess of Strathmore and offered around 20 information stands, and a series of workshops relevant to people affected by COPD. NHS Tayside Chairman Sandy Watson also attended. It gave those affected by COPD the opportunity to access information and advice about living well with COPD and meet the three Angus COPD support group. Workshops also ran throughout the day and people at risk of developing COPD could also have a quick test performed to see if they would benefit from more detailed screening and talk to the team of staff who deliver respiratory services locally. There is no cure for COPD but there are a range of management options that are known to improve quality of life and reduce delay of progression of the disease. These include stopping smoking, healthy diet, exercise, medication (including flu vaccine) and early management of flare-ups.

Primary Care Manager Rhona Guild, who is also long term conditions lead in Angus, said: “The most common, but not only cause of COPD is smoking. Stopping smoking reduces the risk of getting COPD and slows down the progression of the disease if already diagnosed.” For more information contact Rhona on 01307 474889.