North East Lincolnshire Council are joining forces with the COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) team from Hope Street Clinic to offer free lung checks to local residents at the Municipal Offices in Grimsby this Monday.
The test, which only takes a few minutes, gives an estimate of a persons lung capacity and expresses the result as a lung age compared to their actual age. So, for example, a 50 year old person may find that their lung age is equivalent to that of a 65 year old if they have some reduced lung capacity.
The tests are principally targeted at people aged over 35 years who are smokers or ex smokers and have a cough or often feel breathless. They can help to identify people who are at an early stage of developing COPD. They can also serve to illustrate to smokers what damage they may be doing to their lungs by smoking.
Cate Carmichael , director of public health said:
“These simple tests can help identify respiratory problems that residents may be developing at a very early stage and prevent a more serious condition developing. They can also get advice from the COPD nurses or support to help them quit smoking”.
Councillor Ros James, portfolio holder for housing and wellbeing and chair of the health and wellbeing board, said:
“The council has taken on a new role in Public Health as part of the NHS reforms and this is an excellent example of how we can work with and support our partners in the NHS to identify and prevent serious health problems. We would encourage smokers or ex smokers aged over 35 with a cough, shortness of breath or a recent chest infection to come along on Monday or make an appointment with their GP for a lung check”.
Photo/Interview opportunity - Reception area of the Municipal Offices, Grimsby on Monday November 12 from 9am until 4pm.
Note to editors
COPD is a lung disease characterized by chronic obstruction of lung airflow that interferes with normal breathing and is not fully reversible. The more familiar terms 'chronic bronchitis' and 'emphysema' are no longer used, but are now included within the COPD diagnosis. COPD is not simply a "smoker's cough" but an under-diagnosed, life-threatening lung disease. COPD can, however, take many years to develop and a persistent smokers cough or wheezing can often be ignored until the condition has reached an advanced stage. Currently there are 3500 diagnosed cases and it is estimated that there could be in the region of 1500 people in North East Lincolnshire with COPD that is currently undiagnosed.