Hospital trust in drive to improve lung health across Southampton

Writing on a clipboard

Doctors and nurses at Southampton’s teaching hospitals will be conducting breathing tests on staff and visitors tomorrow (14 October) to mark World Spirometry Day.

The respiratory biomedical research unit and the respiratory centre at Southampton General Hospital have joined forces to raise awareness of lung disease and the importance of regular testing.

Seven per cent of all deaths worldwide each year are caused by preventable lung diseases and around 2.5m people in the UK alone are currently suffering from undiagnosed conditions.

Many are treatable if caught early through proper testing – and the first World Spirometry Day aims to encourage more people to get their lungs tested for an indication of diseases such as asthma, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Participants will undertake a five-minute free spirometry test to measure their lung capacity and, if the results raise concern, they will be given a letter to take to their GP for further investigation.

“Spirometry tests are like an MOT for the lungs and, with so many people in the country unaware of the onset of certain conditions, this is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness in a practical and informative way,” said Mal North, senior respiratory research nurse.

“While most people are likely get the all clear, the test can be invaluable in raising early warning signs for potentially fatal problems and giving people the chance to receive treatment and change their lifestyles.”

Having a spirometry test to screen for lung disease is recommended for those over 40 or current or former smokers.

The event, to be held outside the Eaterie restaurant at Southampton General Hospital from 10am to 2pm, is just one of a number of public tests being held around the world as part of the 2010 Year of the Lung Campaign.

Posted on Wednesday 13 October 2010