Thursday, July 9, 2020

COPD is causing 2300 deaths per day in India

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Jaipur, 11 November, 2019: India has become the ‘COPD Capital of the World’. The severity of COPD can be judged by the fact that India has the most cases of COPD in the world and ranks second when it comes to death caused by COPD. COPD is causing more deaths than AIDS, TB, Malaria, Diabetes all put together. Despite the alarming numbers, COPD is highly neglected in the country and very little is written or talked about in media. Another graving factor is that poor Delayed COPD diagnosis & poor COPD management is worsening the situation and leading the patient to ‘LUNG ATTACK’. The symptoms further aggravate as our lungs mature by the time, we are about 20-25 years old, and with aging, it is normal for our lung function to decline. This can make breathing slightly more difficult as we get older.

According to Dr. Dr Deepak Yaduvanshi , Consultant and in-charge – Respiratory Medicine and ICU at Manipal Hospitals, “Persistent exposure to the risk factors and respiratory infections can aggravate the condition.  The lack of awareness, its symptoms and implications contribute significantly in preventing people from seeking help and reaching out to their primary care physicians. And even if they visit the general practitioner the possibility of under-diagnosis is high”.

He further highlighted “Diagnosis of lung attack is often based on the degree of worsening signs of COPD such as oxygen levels being lower than normal, findings of physical examination by a doctor, wheezing and rapid shallow breathing. Identifying the signs and symptoms of lung attack and getting timely help from physician is the best way to prevent further worsening of disease progression. LUNG ATTACK requires urgent medical attention and if it is left untreated it can result in fatal implications. ”

Lung attack cannot always be prevented but taking some precautions may help reduce the number and frequency of lung attacks. Correspondingly, LUNG ATTACK can be tackled by using inhalers to open the airways and reduce inflammation. One may require hospitalization if the symptoms become severe. Lungs mainly function to supply oxygen to our body and get rid of the carbon dioxide. Lung attacks may interfere with this, so we may be required to take supplemental oxygen to help us breathe better.

An impending lung attack can be identified by regularly monitoring and noting down the peak expiratory flow rate using a peak flow meter. Spirometry is the most common lung function test. It is the Gold Standard for diagnosis of COPD.  It measures how much and how quickly you can release air out of your lungs with the help of a machine called a Spirometer.

COPD symptoms awareness, timely diagnosis and correct treatment can help a patient prevent a LUNG ATTACK.

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