Understanding Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Caused by lung damage from smoking, environmental hazards or secondhand smoke, patients who suffer with this condition experience symptoms including shortness of breath, wheezing and a chronic cough. In this WIS-TV news story, a COPD patient talks about his experience with the disease.


Lexington Medical Center is recognizing National COPD Month in November with an opportunity to learn more about COPD. On November 15, World COPD Day, Lexington Medical Center will host a FREE event that includes health screenings, a physician discussion and a healthy meal. Screenings at the event will include blood pressure, a breathing exam and pulse oximetry. Participants can fill out a questionnaire about their sleep patterns and watch CPAP mask demonstrations. They can also ask the doctors questions during the lecture.It will take place inside the Michael J. Biediger Auditorium at 2728 Sunset Boulevard in West Columbia from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. For more information on the event or to RSVP, call (803) 935 – 8260. Space is limited.

“COPD causes patients to struggle with shortness of breath, excessive chest congestion, frequent episodes of acute illness, and an inability to participate fully in normal physical activities,” said Buffy Chapman, respiratory care patient navigator at Lexington Medical Center. “The clinicians at Lexington Medical Center are able to properly diagnose and treat COPD — stabilizing symptoms, providing support, and encouraging rehabilitation and management.”

“Topping Out” Lexington Medical Center’s Clinical Expansion

Lexington Medical Center’s clinical expansion project reached an important milestone Thursday with a ‘topping out’ ceremony. This significant event occurs when the last beam is placed atop a structure during its construction.

Architectural rendering of Lexington Medical Center’s clinical expansion

The top beam for Lexington Medical Center’s new patient care tower contains the signatures of hundreds of Lexington Medical Center employees and construction crew members who have signed it this year.

“This week’s ‘topping out’ milestone is important to us because it means Lexington Medical Center is one step closer to finishing our clinical expansion and allowing us to have the space to accommodate the expanding health care needs of our growing community for many years to come,” said Tod Augsburger, president & CEO of Lexington Medical Center.

Here is drone video of the important moment:


The 550,000 square foot tower will have eight floors for patient services. Initially, the hospital will open about 70 beds there with the ability to open more in the future.

Inside, there will be additional operating rooms, a relocated Labor & Delivery department, postpartum beds, newborn nurseries, additional intensive care and medical/surgical beds, and space for expanding clinical departments.

Lexington Medical Center delivers the second highest number of babies in South Carolina each year, performs more than 23,000 surgeries annually and sees more than 85,000 patients in its ER each year.

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With the population of Lexington County increasing rapidly, Lexington Medical Center needs to add onto its facilities to meet the needs of a growing patient base. The 438-bed hospital remains full, with steady growth annually.

More than 700 workers on site have worked a total of 1 million man hours on the project so far. Brasfield & Gorrie is the general contractor for the expansion project and Perkins+Will is the architectural firm.

The top beam had an evergreen and flag on it when it was lifted into position. The evergreen tree is a symbol of good luck, growth and longevity. The flag symbolizes the construction crew’s pride in the accomplishment.

The Alzheimer’s Smell Test

Can your sense of smell help predict your risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease? A study says yes. Donald E. Schmechel, MD, neurologist at Southeastern Neurology & Memory Clinic at Lexington Medical Center, weighed in on the topic in this WIS-TV Health U story.


November is ALzheimer’s Awareness Month. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, here are some signs and symptoms of the disease.
~Memory loss that disrupts daily life
~Challenges in planning or solving problems
~Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
~Confusion with time or place
~Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
~New problems with words in speaking or writing
~Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
~Decreased or poor judgment
~Withdrawl from work or social activities
~Changes in mood or personality