Mackay Base Hospital respiratory clinical nurse Lorna Reddy is using World COPD Day (November 18) to encourage people living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) to reach out and connect with the Mackay HHS Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program.
“COPD is a common lung condition impacting both men and women with around one in seven Australians aged 40 years and over living with some form of COPD,” Ms Reddy said.
“More than 400 people are admitted to hospital across our health service each year and while there is currently no cure for COPD, there are ways to manage the condition which will help people improve their quality of life.”
Mackay Base Hospital introduced the eight-week Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program to teach people the skills needed to perform daily activities and exercise capacity while reducing breathlessness and fatigue.
“Our eight-week program uses exercise, education and behavioural intervention to improve lung function in daily life, help people stay well and out of hospital,” she said.
“We help patients set realistic goals and during the program they work closely with a clinical nurse, physiotherapist and other allied health professionals to achieve these goals.”
Mirani resident Veronica Townsend (pictured second from left) was diagnosed with asthma as a toddler and now at the age of 74 has just completed the program to manage her mild emphysema.
“My GP referred me to the program because I was finding it increasingly difficult to breathe ,” Ms Townsend said.
“I attended the program twice a week for eight weeks and I can definitely say my breathing is a lot better.
“Using the stairs at home is easier and at the end of the program my peak flow measurement increased from 196 to 220.”
Anyone with COPD or a chronic respiratory condition who has difficulty with breathlessness can apply to take part in the program.
Speak to your treating GP or physiotherapist to gain a referral.