Tag Archives: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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.”

Navigating the Way: New Respiratory Care Navigator Helps Patients with COPD

by Sarah McClanahan

For seven years, Buffy Chapman, BA, RRT, helped Lexington Medical Center inpatients alleviate symptoms of chronic respiratory diseases as an inpatient respiratory therapist. But it’s in her new role as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patient navigator that she’s able to make a difference in the lives of COPD patients and families after they leave the hospital.

Buffy Chapman

“I help COPD patients understand what is happening to their bodies. I teach them how the medications they take can affect their breathing and help them discover ways to improve their overall health. I also advocate for their needs with providers throughout LMC’s network,” said Buffy.

A COPD patient navigator’s primary focus is to educate patients and families about self-management and assist in transitioning patients from acute care to outpatient management. Often, there is little continuity of care after discharge for COPD patients. When they leave the hospital, they may not understand which medications to use and when, how to properly use inhalers or what effects COPD can have on their bodies.

As the hospital’s COPD patient navigator, Buffy is able to work with patients during their stay at LMC and continue to assist them after they are discharged from the hospital, maintaining the same level of care throughout their transition home and into the outpatient setting.

According to Buffy, many of the processes required to get patients the help they need at home are complicated and difficult for patients and families to navigate.

“COPD patient navigators have the ability collaborate with other members of the health care team to carry patients through those processes and access resources so that they have the best possible chance for success,” she said.

Buffy also supports families of COPD patients, helping them come to terms with and understand their diagnosis, and she encourages those with COPD to participate in pulmonary rehabilitation.

“COPD is a chronic illness. As a navigator, I can help these patients move in the direction of maintaining and, in many cases, improving their quality of life.”