Three Rivers Hospital offers free COPD test, Nov. 17

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is often undetected, according to the World Health Organization. The pulmonary rehabilitation department at Three Rivers Community Hospital encourages all adults to know their lung health and come in for a free lung test on Nov. 17, which is World COPD Day.

Known as a spirometry, the lung health test is a simple, painless way to measure the amount of air a person can breathe out, and the amount of time taken to do so.

“Spirometry is important for diagnosing COPD and other lung diseases,” said Shari Cunningham, RT, TRCH Pulmonary Rehabilitation. “It can even detect COPD before symptoms become troublesome.”

Who should get spirometry? Cunningham recommends it for anyone who is over 40 years old or people with a history of exposure to COPD risk factors such as tobacco smoke, other kinds of smoke, or dusts and fumes encountered on the job; or anyone with symptoms of COPD such as a chronic cough, bringing up phlegm or mucus most days, and feeling short of breath.

Three Rivers Community Hospital will provide the community with free-of-charge screening spirometry tests from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the main lobby of TRCH. “You will receive your individual results which we encourage you to share with your personal physican.,” Cunningham said.

The TRCH Pulmonary Rehabilitation department is the only pulmonary rehabilitation department in Josephine or Jackson counties. It moved to a new, convenient location in the professional building next to the hospital on Nov. 8. The new facility is spacious, with lots of natural light, and is equipped with modern rehabilitation equipment.

World COPD Day is an annual global event that aims to raise awareness of COPD, the world’s fourth-leading killer. This year’s theme is, “The Year of the Lung:  Measure your lung health – Ask your doctor about a simple breathing test called spirometry.” This positive message raises awareness of spirometry as the gold standard for diagnosis of COPD, and emphasizes the actions a person can take to safeguard his or her lung health

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