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Improving care for people living with COPD

The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement supports healthcare partnerships to find innovative ways of improving patient care. This collaborative approach is a great example of how health system leaders can work together in ways that will lead to better care for Canadians struggling with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Nineteen teams from healthcare organizations in all 10 provinces are participating in projects to improve care for people living with COPD and support their caregivers. The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, in partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., pledged $1 million to support the teams. One of the teams that is

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Posted in COPD, Research

10 facts you should know about COPD

COPD_10thingsyoushouldknow

1)      COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is a long-term lung disease often caused by smoking. COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. 2)      The symptoms of COPD include: a cough that lasts a long time, or coughing up “stuff” (mucus), feeling short of breath, especially when you are making an effort (climbing stairs, exercising), many lung infections that last a long time (the flu, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.) 3)      A “smokers” cough is not normal, if you have a cough that last 3 weeks or longer, you should talk to your doctor. 4)      COPD can be diagnosed with a simple

Posted in COPD

Apps to use during forest fire season

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As forest fires continue to burn throughout Western and Northern Canada this summer, residents of and visitors to Alberta may experience health effects due to smoke in the air.  On average, Alberta sees 1,600 forest fires burn between the months of April and October of a given year. It is also possible for forest fires burning in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories to prompt air quality advisories in Alberta. Not only do forest fires pose danger to natural habitat, but also to human health. To learn about: the health effects caused by forest fire smoke; ways to reduce exposure

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Posted in Air Quality, Asthma, COPD, Lung Health

Forest Fires and Lung Health

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Forest fires are often a concern in Canada, especially during dry, hot summers. People all over Canada may be affected by the smoke from forest fires. The Canadian Lung Association urges those with lung disease such as asthma and COPD to monitor their breathing and avoid exposure to smoke. If breathing problems develop, refer to your action plan or call your health-care provider. What type of health effects can be caused by forest fire smoke? For someone without lung problems, wood smoke can: irritate eyes, lungs, throat and sinuses increase the risk of heart attacks trigger headaches and allergies reduce

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Posted in Air Quality, Asthma, COPD, Lung Health

Exercise, a great resolution for all of us, and especially for those with COPD.

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2013 has come and gone.  The New Year is a time for reflection, but also a time to set new goals and yes resolutions too.  It is no surprise that the most common New Year’s resolution is to exercise more.  People usually make this resolution in the hopes of losing weight, looking better and feeling better.  While exercise is good for everyone, it is essential for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).  Although exercise will not reverse the lung disease, it is an effective way to improve quality of life.  Exercising helps people use oxygen more efficiently. It strengthens breathing muscles as well as the rest of

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Posted in COPD, Stories

Larry’s New Lungs: a moment of gratitude

Card: To my donor family

                  What a miracle!!  I still can’t believe it at times, that I made it and how blessed I am.  I really believe in miracles now! I thank my donor family so much for giving me the gift of life and I thank all my friends and family, especially my sister, for all their support and help through this. This journey is pretty much an ongoing thing, everyday. My double lung transplant is not a cure, it is a treatment and so far so good. Touch wood. It is so fantastic to

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Posted in COPD, Stories, Uncategorized

Larry’s New Lungs: A surprise visit

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Come that weekend, on Saturday, I had a nice surprise. The gang from the Lung Association in Ottawa came down to visit.  It was great to see Rosario, our respiratory therapist, and Larry Mayville, who was waiting for a transplant and Julie and Jacovina who were waiting as well.  (Jacovina was waiting to get on the transplant list in Toronto, but unfortunately she passed away before she even got to Toronto to receive her life saving surgery and donor lungs.  We were all devastated with that.) So, the group had a card and a joke for me to make me

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Posted in COPD, Stories

Larry’s New Lungs: Getting on my feet again

A few of my favourite quotes!

Larry recounts his recovery from his double-lung transplant. After the first few nights, my energy levels and week went faster.  I had the oxygen taken off and I was improving and then after 4 days they were able to take all the tubes out.  I pushed for this though because I knew I had to get up and move around. The legs are the first things to go, if you’re in bed too long.  Oh, I forgot to tell you, that literally the first day out of ICU, on the 8th floor, they got me out of bed to walk.

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Posted in COPD, Stories

Larry’s New Lungs: Going from 12% lung capacity to 100%

Larry Graham

In his last posting, Larry describes receiving a successful double-lung transplant.   After I was stabilized after the 3 days in the ICU (intensive care unit), they moved me to a private room on the 8th floor of the hospital. Hmmm, I didn’t like it as much as the ICU.  The bed wasn’t as comfortable and they had to put a special pad on my mattress because I found it too hard on my back and it was a real pain for my scoliosis.Well, I found out a few things in the next few days.  I didn’t even know my

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Posted in COPD, Stories

Larry’s New Lungs: Wow that first breath!!!

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In his last installment, Larry receives a call that a pair of donor lungs are available in Montreal. Fortunately, his cousin’s daughter was in town from Montreal and she offers to drive him from Ottawa. Well, needless to say, I was in a daze from then on , but still stayed calm while Colleen drove and we all talked and laughed as we went along and they were so happy and thrilled for me. In the car, I called my sister Joan in Hamilton and told her the good news. I asked her to let my brothers and other family

Posted in COPD, Stories