Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) will offer free screenings for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on Saturday, June 22, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Maury Regional Annex with a brief presentation and overview of COPD from pulmonologist Maura Lipp, M.D.
“COPD refers to a group of diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, that affects the lungs and can cause shortness of breath,” said Dr. Lipp, a specialist in pulmonary disease and internal medicine on the medical staff at MRMC. “It often worsens over time but early detection can help to minimize lung damage by allowing patients to work with their physicians to identify medications and therapies that can help them breathe easier.”
According to the American Lung Association, COPD is the third leading cause of disease-related death in the U.S. Symptoms of COPD can consist of chronic cough, shortness of breath, frequent respiratory infections, blueness of the lips and nails, fatigue and wheezing. Risk factors include current or previous tobacco use, exposure to air pollutants, respiratory infections and genetic factors, such as Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD).
Among the free screenings to be offered June 22 is the Alpha-1 test, a finger-stick blood sample used to screen for AATD. Fasting is not required prior to the screening. Other screening tests will include pulse oximetry to measure the body’s oxygen saturation as well as spirometry, which is a simple breathing test.
“If you currently smoke, have smoked in the past, have a family history of COPD or may have had long-term exposure to wood smoke, chemicals or second-hand smoke, we encourage you to attend this free screening,” said MRMC Respiratory Care Director Christy Wright.
Dr. Lipp will begin the free event at 10 a.m. with a brief presentation about COPD with the screenings immediately to follow. Screenings will take place in the William R. Walter Educational Conference Center at the Maury Regional Annex (1223 Trotwood Ave., located across from MRMC) and are free to the public. No registration is required.
Call 931.381.1111, ext. 1347, for more information.