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Friday’s COPD Newsletter from COPD Support, Inc.

Posted May 14 2010 9:49am

Volume 10, Issue 24
May 14, 2010
Joan Costello, Editor

To help track the best and worst areas for air in the country, last week the American Lung Association (ALA) released its annual “State of the Air” report. The study highlights some of the country’s highs and lows in air quality. As usual, air in some rural areas, like Wyoming, is practically pristine. In other placeshey there, Los Angelesyou might as well fill your gas tank with industrial fumes and broken glass, duct tape the tailpipe to your mouth and start driving.

The report reveals that air quality in many locales improved over the 2009 assessment. In other regions, mainly in California, conditions continued to degrade. The report found that about 178 million people in the U.S., roughly 58 percent of the population, were subjected to unhealthy levels of air pollution over the course of the year.


SOURCES: News items summarized in The COPD-NEWS are taken from secondary sources believed to be reliable. However, the COPD Family of Services does not verify their accuracy.

Walgreen’s explains a pulmonary lobectomy in a series of three illustrations.

By Paul G. Donohue, M.D, forwarded by Ruth: Pursed-lip breathing is one technique that helps. Draw your lips into the whistling position when you breathe out. The lips are in the right position if the outgoing air makes a hissing sound as it passes through them. Pursed lip breathing keeps the air ways opened so all stale air is emptied from the lungs. In people with COPD, on exhalation, the airways collapse. That leaves them partially filled with old air containing little oxygen. By getting all the oxygen-low air out of the lungs, fresh air fills them and a person isn’t shortchanged on oxygen.

Exhale slowly, twice the length of time it takes to inhale.

You have to train yourself to use your diaphragm to its maximum capacity. The diaphragm is the horizontal muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. It’s the principal breathing muscle. When the diaphragm moves downward, air rushes into the lungs.

To make sure you’re using your diaphragm, lie on your back with your hands on your abdomen. Breathe normally. When you breathe in, your hands should move out as the diaphragm descends. You have to consciously use the diaphragm with each inhalation until it becomes second nature for you. Another trick that makes more room for air in the lungs is to bend a bit forward at the waist when you stand or walk.

When I went looking for the original source above I found a collection of columns and articles about COPD written by Dr. Donohue and others featured in the South Florida Sun Sentinel. A wealth of information here. Click on the individual topic heading to further explore.

We do not accept any paid advertising. Any corporations, products, medicines (prescription or non) mentioned in this newsletter are for informational purposes only and not to be construed as an endorsement or condemnation of same.

Honda U3-X(TRigg) Posted by Donni in Houston: This is a new way to stay mobile. It probably requires too much balance for most of us but it shows that new technology is coming. For all my mechanically minded friends

Dr. Lisa Thornton: I think the most common myth out there is that someone who’s larger than average needs to take more pain medication to get relief.

John Jenkins, RPh: Not true at all. Just because someone’s taller or heavier it doesn’t mean they need to take more pain relief.

Dr. T: Right. Taking more than the recommended dose could lead to serious health problems. So read the label and only take the recommended dose.

RPh: Another myth I want to correct is about pill size. Pills that are about the same size do not have the same amount of medicine in them.

Dr. T: Exactly. A 325 milligram dose of one medicine might be the same size pill as a 500 milligram dose of another medicine. So once again, read the label and only take what’s recommended.

Health Corner Videos: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease,. a Chicago couple discuss COPD. “It’s horrible. With COPD, it’s as if you’re drowning with every breath,” says Dr. Robert Cohen of the American Lung Association in Chicago.

Music is helping some patients at Lee Memorial Hospitals breathe a little easier. Harmonica lessons are being offered as a form of respiratory therapy and some say it’s working. David Peters recruits kids …at the hospital and teaches them how to play the harmonica. “It’s just something a child can do while he’s lying in bed,” Peters tells WINK News.

…doctors noticed the lessons had another benefit: helping kids learn to breathe better. So Peters was asked to pick up a few more classes. This time he started teaching adults with COPD. Adults like Louis Halloway says he noticed a difference after playing the harmonica. “It’s not a giant step but you can tell there’s a little improvement– something that makes me want to do more and more,” Halloway says. He also says the harmonica therapy is a breath of fresh air compared to traditional treatments. Though his instructor, Peters, says what he is teaching them is nothing new.

A video of COPD patients learning to play the harmonica at

Your physician should be consulted on all medical decisions. New procedures or drugs should not be started or stopped without such consultation. While we believe that our accumulated experience has value, and a unique perspective, you must accept it for what it is… the work of COPD patients. We vigorously encourage individuals with COPD to take an active part in the management of their disease. They do this through education and by sharing information and thoughts with their primary physician and pulmonoligist. However, medical decisions are based on complex medical principles and should be left to the medical practitioner who has been trained to diagnose and advise.

Currently, about 400 to 600 million people are suffering from COPD on a global basis with about 12 million patients in the US. Respiratory devices accounted for 55% of the overall anesthesia and respiratory devices market in 2009, making it the largest category. This category is forecast to reach 59% of the overall market by 2016. The market is expected to be driven by reimbursement approval by the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services for CPAP devices based on home diagnosis of OSA, the patient population suffering from OSA and COPD and the increasing demand for low priced portable oxygen concentrators.

Woman’s Day magazine recently ran an article on a new treatment fad in New York. That of breathing in salt laden air in special rooms lined with salt. The author concedes that there isn’t any research that backs up claims of physical healing or improvement, however, the salt therapy is claimed to be good for people with respiratory problems.

In case you’re curious the cost of the one hour sessions is $100.00 a pop. Recommended course of treatment, 14 sessions in all for a total cost of $1,400.00 and I’m betting they have some kind of a maintenance program too.

Subscription to this Newsletter is free and we hope that it serves your needs. For more Newsletter information, go to

The Newsletter, like all the other endeavors of the Family of COPD Support Programs , is provided to you by COPD-Support, Inc. a non-profit member organization with IRS designation 501(c)(3). If you would like to be involved and help us provide these programs to the individuals who benefit from them, please consider joining us as a member. Further information is available at

Free Slot Machines. No downloads

What’s the Best Aftershave?
Scent and Scent, the makers of Grunge aftershave claim and really believe that women find it irresistible. They are surprised that anyone still uses Jazz aftershave. So they decide to do a little market research. They hire the firm of Frey and Frey who sends out their best researcher, Claire. Claire gets on a bus and interviews the men riding it.

The first man says, “I use Grunge.” After him, the rest of the men in turn say, “I use Grunge, but the man you just interviewed uses Jazz.” After interviewing all the men, the first one said, “The last man you interviewed uses Jazz.”

Claire was confused, so she asked some of the men how many of the male passengers used Jazz.

The tallest man said, “19.”

The man she had originally interviewed fourth after him said, “24.”

The fattest man said, “13.”

The man she had originally interviewed fifth after him said, “28.”

The nicest man said, “24.”

The man she had originally interviewed sixth after him said, “13.”

If each man uses either Grunge or Jazz, and only Grunge users tell the
truth, how many men use Jazz?

The answer to the above and more logic puzzles at

Until next Friday,
Joan Costello, Editor

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