Opelousas, LA, 10/14/13, In conjunction with World COPD Day (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), Pulmonologist Jose’ Santiago, M.D., and Opelousas General Health System will hold an awareness seminar using this year’s theme “It’s Not Too Late”, Tuesday, November 19, 2013 in the Opelousas General Health System Auditorium from 10:30am-1pm.
The event will be held to raise awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease worldwide. In its 13th year, World COPD Day extends globally. This year free screenings will be available to attendees, including a screening for genetic emphysema disorder.
“We are excited to celebrate World COPD Day, the sixth celebration at OGHS and the only one in Acadiana,” said Dr. Jose’ Santiago. ‘Our focus was to bring awareness about the disease, its rick factors, symptoms and treatment.”
Santiago will speak at 12.15 p.m. in the hospital auditorium about the disease and how important it is to find and treat it in the early stages.
COPD is a devastating lung disease that progressively robs sufferers of breath. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), COPD is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide, on par with HIV/AIDS. More than 3 million people will die from the disease each year, and up to 10 percent of adults over age 40 worldwide may have it. “COPD kills approximately 115,000 patients in the United States a year. That’s about the population size of St. Landry Parish or half of Lafayette dying annually,” Dr. Santiago said. “If a fully occupied jumbo jet crashed daily year after year, I hope that would merit attention. This is the scope of this disease,” he added.
Early symptoms of COPD include coughing, bringing up sputum, and getting out of breath during exercise or exertion.
Without treatment, COPD is generally a progressive disease, and as the disease gets worse patients become breathless during everyday activities such as climbing a flight of stairs, walking the dog, or even getting dressed in the morning. A simple, painless breathing test called spirometry can confirm whether a person has COPD.
Also important in the fight against COPD is reducing exposure to risk factors for the disease. Worldwide, the most common encountered risk factor for COPD is cigarette smoking. Other important risk factors include dusts and chemicals encountered on the job and smoke from biomass fuels (such as coal, wood, and animal dung) burned for cooking and heating in poorly ventilated dwellings, especially in developing countries.
Also in attendance will be respiratory and pharmaceutical representatives with literature on medications. FREE LUNG HEALTH SCREENINGS, Oxygen therapy education, exercise therapy displays, nutrition information, art display and patient testimonials. Refreshments will also be available to attendees.