Over the past 20 years, Education for Health and its previous organisation The National Respiratory Training Centre, has provided immensely valuable training support for primary healthcare professionals, particularly in the management of long-term diseases. From small beginnings the organisation has developed into a world leader in nurse training and is actively sharing UK quality and […]
Diagnosing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be complex and requires
considerable clinical skill. It is rather like putting together the pieces of a jigsaw
puzzle. But don’t despair. In this article, we take you through the key steps. A careful
history, particularly in smokers or ex-smokers who complain of breathlessness,
followed by clinical examination may indicate possible COPD. Further steps must then be taken
to exclude other causes of respiratory symptoms and spirometry is essential in diagnosing
airflow obstruction, which may help to confirm the diagnosis of COPD.
We continue our series of articles on research concepts by explaining what ‘double-dummy’ trials are and why researchers
use them to compare medications that are delivered using different types of inhalers.
Planning a flu vaccination campaign during the autumn is always a difficult concept to
take on board. But, from experience, the earlier you plan a campaign, the more
successful it will be. Adequate planning and organisation will ease the pressure on all
members of the team during a very busy period. It will also ensure that all patients in
the ‘at risk’ groups are vaccinated and targets achieved. This article gives seven easy steps for a
stress-free flu vaccination campaign.
Severe seasonal allergic rhinitis (hayfever) has a significant impact on sufferers’ quality of life
and productivity, and can be a challenging condition to manage in primary care. As a majority
of these patients have poor or only partial symptom control in primary care, they may be
suitable for referral to secondary care. Some of these patients may be appropriate for
treatment with specific allergen immunotherapy and this article reviews the impact of severe seasonal
allergic rhinitis and highlights recent data on the effectiveness of sublingual immunotherapy.
Summer is here and time for a new issue of the BJPCN – packed full of
useful information and news from the respiratory and allergy world.
We cover a lot of different topics in the main articles this month – from
pleural effusions to angioedema, from asbestosis to urticaria. A scan
through the summaries of the latest research in the Evidence in Practice
section will reveal interesting studies with dogs, trees and alcohol! Have
a great read.
Bronchiectasis is characterised by abnormal, permanent distortion and dilation of one or more of the medium-sized bronchi (>2 mm). It occurs most commonly as a consequence of infection or inflammation. Although relatively uncommon, bronchiectasis is an important and probably under-diagnosed condition and it often coexists with COPD. Accurate diagnosis and appropriate management are needed to reduce the symptoms that patients experience. Primary care professionals need to be alert to the signs and symptoms of bronchiectasis to ensure quick referral to specialist services.
Being able to take a deep breath of fresh air is something that most of us take completely for granted. But for our patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), other respiratory diseases such as sleep apnoea, and allergic disorders such as rhinitis, taking a deep breath may not be so easy.