Respiratory disease in practice - 2017

Comment: E-cigarettes – where do you stand?
Philip W Ind
pp 3-3
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have been available in the UK for ten years. They are now used by over 2.6 million people, almost all of whom are, or have been, smokers, and one-third of whom no longer smoke. However, they remain hugely controversial. As there is no burning involved, there is no smoke. Vapour inhalation (vaping) delivers nicotine, propylene glycol and/or glycerine, and a large variety of flavourings, but e-cigarettes are free from tar, carbon monoxide and the vast majority of known carcinogens.
Pulmonary rehabilitation in primary care: problems of referral and uptake?
Frances Early and Jonathan Paul Fuld
pp 4-7
An estimated 1.2 million people in the UK live with a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a progressive lung disease in which people experience breathlessness, exercise incapacity and vulnerability to exacerbations and frequently require hospitalisation. COPD costs the NHS in England over £800 million each year, mostly relating to hospital admissions.
Familial pneumothorax
Marko Z Nikolic and Stefan J Marciniak
pp 8-11
The leakage of air into the pleural space, in the absence of trauma or gross lung pathology, is called primary spontaneous pneumothorax. This condition has been recognised for more than two centuries and has been treated by thoracocentesis (needle aspiration) for almost as long.
Book review: Respiratory Nursing at a Glance
Respiratory Specialist Nurses Team at St. George's Hospital, London
pp 12-12
We are a team of respiratory specialist nurses at St. George’s Hospital and have been approached to provide feedback on the recently published book, Respiratory Nursing at a Glance. As a group of four, we have varying levels of experience, ranging from two new team members, another specialising in non-invasive ventilation (NIV) and finally one with many years’ exposure to chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and asthma patients. For this reason, we decided to tackle this review collectively, in order to provide opinions from different perspectives, with the aim of identifying who would gain the most benefit from the book.
ARNS Annual Conference 2017 – celebrating 20 years of ARNS
Sandra Olive
pp 12-12
The Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists was established in 1997 as a forum for respiratory nurses to champion the specialty, promote excellence in practice and ensure the nursing voice was able to influence policy decisions regarding respiratory service development.
Don't waste your breath: inhalers in asthma
Andrew Whittamore
pp 14-18
Inhalers are the mainstay of treating asthma, yet insufficient attention is paid to making sure the right drugs reach the airways of the right people. In England alone, asthma inhalers cost the NHS over £900 million. They are an expensive resource that far too often repre- sents waste – a wasted opportunity to improve the lives of people with asthma and reduce the impact that the condition places upon the health service. Ineffective prescribing also creates harm – from side effects of medication to preventable asthma attacks and unscheduled care use.
Alpha-1 UK Support Group – 20 years of patient support
Sandra Nestler-Parr
pp 19-19
Since the Alpha-1 UK Support Group's inception 20 years ago, the focus of our work has broadened to keep pace with the challenges faced by rare disease patient communities, particularly in view of ever-increasing pressures on limited healthcare budgets. The group started out by providing a platform for patients with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) for advice, practical support and communication. It now also has a patient advocacy role and engages with clinicians, NHS bodies and health technology appraisal agencies to improve access to care and effective treatments for AATD. Our activities aim to address challenges in the three key areas discussed below.
How can Asthma UK support people in becoming more active?
Andrew Whittamore
pp 19-19
We all know the benefits of regular exercise for people’s weight, quality of life and mood, and that it can help people to manage their asthma symptoms. However, our work with healthcare professionals and people with asthma demonstrates just how hard it can be to convince patients that these benefits outweigh the risks of becoming active.