The pneumology service of Son Llàtzer has installed today an information table on the occasion of the World Day of COPD

Nov 16, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

The Pneumology Service of the University Hospital Son Llàtzer, on the occasion of the World Day of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), has organized an informative day with the participation of pulmonologists, nurses from the Pneumology Service, physiotherapists and even patients affected by this disease, some of whom are included in the Active Patient Program of the Health Service. The aim is to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis and the guidelines to be followed in order to manage the disease better.

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The pneumology service of Son Llàtzer

Two years ago it was recognized as a High Complexity Multidisciplinary COPD Unit by SEPAR (Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery). This accreditation values the material and human resources of the hospital to carry out any type of care, teaching or research activity related to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of COPD.

<< We currently care for 160 patients with advanced COPD. These patients have personalized attention and a telephone number to call in case of worsening symptoms. With this, we have achieved a reduction in the number of hospital admissions and emergency room visits due to this pathology, as well as a high level of satisfaction on the part of patients and their families>>> states Dr. Fuster.

The diagnosis of COPD in its early stages allows therapeutic and preventive measures that influence the natural course of the disease, preventing it from progressing to more advanced stages. That is why it is important to give it visibility.

COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in Spain, behind cancer, heart disease and cerebrovascular disease. In the Balearic Islands, each year there are 24.13 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants due to COPD, the prevalence is 11.1% among the island population (13.6% in men and 8.5% in women).

It is a very frequent pathology among the Spanish population, especially in men, although in recent years it has increased significantly among women due to the incorporation of smoking. According to the EPI-SCAN II study, the largest COPD study carried out in Spain, 11.8% of the population over 40 years of age in Spain suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The differences are significant between men and women, with a prevalence of 14.6% and 9.4%, respectively. In addition, the study identifies a worrying increase in under-diagnosis of the disease, which reaches 81.7%.

Causes of COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD, is the general term for diseases such as chronic bronchitis and pulmonary emphysema. COPD is a chronic, progressive disease characterized by difficulty in breathing due to inflammation of the bronchial tubes. In the early stages, symptoms such as coughing, sputum and fatigue appear; as the disease progresses, the patient becomes unable to perform activities of daily living, such as dressing, walking, etc., and may require additional oxygen.

The main cause of COPD is smoking. Non-smokers may also suffer from the disease due to continuous exposure to smoke from biomass combustion (wood-burning ovens and stoves in poorly ventilated environments, mainly in developing countries), those living in places with high industrial pollution or passive smokers.

There are also COPD genetic cause, such as alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency or as a consequence of abnormal lung development, such as premature births where the lung has not been able to develop properly and does not reach normal lung function in adulthood.

To diagnose the disease, it is necessary to perform a spirometry test, which is a simple 10-minute test to check for alterations in lung function.

The most effective measure to prevent disease onset and progression is smoking cessation. Inhaled bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory drug treatments can help improve symptoms, increase the patient’s lung function and delay disease progression. Respiratory physiotherapy, nutritional management, psychological support and oxygen therapy are non-pharmacological measures that can also contribute to improving the lives of these patients.

The World Health Organization warns that the costs associated with this disease will increase in the coming years due to the ageing of the population and the increase in smoking among women.