£5 – For equipment to take blood for testing antibodies for a patient with IPF.
£50 – Allows us to grow individual fibroblasts (these are the cells that produce the scarring) in the laboratory from the lungs of patients with IPF to do further studies.
£500 – Allows us to isolate the platelets from patients with IPF so that we can examine them in the laboratory and compare them to platelets from people with normal lungs.
£1,000 – For specialised antibodies to help us develop a novel blood test for early detection of PF.
£1,500 – For accessories for our lung function equipment for one year.
£3,000 – For a study to assess whether treatments for rheumatoid arthritis help the lung disease associated with RA.
£5,000 – To provide all the equipment and running costs for ‘Western Blots’ which allows us to look at abnormal proteins in the lungs of patients with pulmonary fibrosis.
£10,000 – For a research nurse for a year working 2 days a week to collect valuable patient data and samples for research.
£50,000 – Pump priming a blue sky research proposal: allows a senior clinician to undertake a substantial period of research (a year or more) as a named research fellow to develop an hypothesis that is then submitted for full funding (£300K+).
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The ‘flu, or influenza virus can cause infections all year round, but in the UK, it is most common in the winter. There are many strains, some of which are worse than others, such as swine ‘flu (H1N1 strain) which tends to have a more rapid onset, high fevers and stomach upset and has caused fatalities, often in previously fit adults. ‘Flu affects 10% of the population each year, but rises to 25-30% during an epidemic. In contrast, adults have approx 2 to 3 colds per year and children 5 to 6.
Do I Have ‘Flu or a Cold?
|Features of ‘Flu||Features of a Cold|
Vaccination Against the ‘Flu
Anyone can get the ‘flu and, the more a person is in close contact with people who have the virus, the more likely they are to get it. Certain at risk groups are advised to have a ‘flu vaccination. They include:
- Everyone over the age of 65.
- People of any age with lung diseases, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes or lowered immunity.
- Anyone living in a residential or nursing home.
- Carers of those at risk.
The UK is fortunate to have a safe and effective vaccination against the ‘flu, which is provided free of charge by the NHS. Those most at risk are advised to have a vaccination every year. This is because the ‘flu virus changes slightly every year. Despite popular belief, the ‘flu vaccination can not give you ‘flu. It’s true that some people experience symptoms of a heavy cold at the same time or just after they’ve had the ‘flu jab – this is simply a coincidence and the symptoms are caused by one of the many common cold viruses in the autumn and winter. It is still possible to suffer heavy colds after a vaccination, as the ‘flu jab only protects people from the ‘flu virus, not other viruses.
The ‘flu vaccination is available from October each year. Anyone who thinks they need it should talk to their doctor or nurse.
How to Treat the ‘Flu
Antibiotics are of no use in treating ‘flu. Anti-viral medication is available from the GP for at risk groups, but it needs to be taken early on in the disease to stop the virus multiplying, and may only reduce the symptoms rather than treating the infection.
The best ways to treat the symptoms of flu are:
- Get plenty of rest. The body uses a lot of energy fighting infections, so resting for the first couple of days gets it off to a good start.
- Keep warm.
- Make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, and try hot water with lemon, ginger and honey to relieve symptoms such as sore throat.
- Take paracetamol or anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen to lower a high temperature and relieve aches.
Always contact your doctor if you’re not getting better after a few days, if you’re unduly short of breath or if you’re coughing up blood or large amounts of yellow or green phlegm.
How to Keep Healthy and Avoid Getting the ‘Flu
- Keep your immune system strong by eating a healthy diet.
- Take regular exercise.
- Get enough rest and relaxation.
- Do not smoke.
- Take regular vitamins and bump up your vitamin C.
- Wash your hands often and keep a bottle of antibacterial handclean around.
- Avoid people who are coughing and sneezing, especially if they’re not covering their mouth and nose.
- Use and bin your tissues.
It is the New Year, so it’s time for some self-improvement. Have you made New Year’s resolutions before, but failed to keep them? I would argue that a resolution is too restraining and negative, I would prefer to focus on adopting habits that keep you healthy. Let’s concentrate on the smokers amongst you. You know who you are? Have you tried quitting before or have you persuaded yourself that your genes will protect you from the ravages of cigarettes?
First, think of why you should stop smoking and then, when you have decided to (and this might be the difficult step), take the first teeny weeny step. You do not have to throw all your cigarettes away for good – although that might be one approach. Take a small step, develop a new habit and, once it is taken, you are on the road to being an ‘ex-smoker’. Keep taking little steps that help you develop little habits and you will achieve your aim.
Take Small Steps
What small steps can you take? Try these:
1. Develop a disgust for cigarettes. Spend 5 minutes each day imaging the toxic smoke filling your lungs and turning them black, and large globs of fat being deposited in the blood vessels of your brain, heart and legs. The surgeon teeing you up for an amputation operation, etc. Remind yourself of this every time you smoke.
2. Toss a coin each day. Heads you smoke that day, tails you don’t. Or, if that is too difficult, ‘tails’ you don’t smoke until midday or something similar. Keep this going for a year and you may reduce your intake by 50% (provided you don’t smoke twice as many on the smoking days). On smoke-free days, have a shower, wash your hair, put on clean clothes and enjoy the fresh smell that you exude.
3. Take fewer draws from each cigarette (you are going to have to be honest here).
4. As an incentive, you could get yourself sponsored for giving up smoking and help a charity at the same time.
5. Make the first step to getting expert help. You can get excellent help from the following:
- Smokefree – information from the NHS. Free smoking helpline 0800 022 4 332 Web: http://www.smokefree.nhs.uk
No matter how small your first step, it is a first step and it will be difficult – if it wasn’t, everyone would do it. Keep in mind the pluses of being an EX-smoker. Reward yourself for even a small achievement (not with a cigarette please).
Here are some of the reasons why you should quit (this is taken directly from http://smokefree.nhs.uk/why-quit/health-and-confidence/
- You will reduce your risk of developing illness, disability or death caused by cancer, heart or lung disease.
- You will reduce your risk of gangrene or amputation caused by circulatory problems.
- You will protect the health of those around you by not exposing them to second-hand smoke.
- You will reduce the chances of your children suffering from asthma or glue ear.
- You will improve your fertility levels and your chance of a healthy pregnancy and baby.
- You will improve your breathing and general fitness.
- You will enjoy the taste of food more.
Your lifestyle WILL improve (after the short term discomfort)
- You will save money – as much as several hundred pounds a month, if you’re a heavy smoker. Perhaps some of this ‘spare’ money could be given to charity!
- You will no longer smell of stale tobacco.
- The appearance of your skin and teeth will improve.
- You will feel more confident in social situations – you won’t be worrying about the second-hand smoke you create anymore.
- As a non-smoker, you may even find you get approached more often by potential new friends and partners when out socialising.
- Your home will smell fresh and you will no longer be staining your walls with tar.
- You will reduce the risk of fire in your home.
Share your own stories with Breathing Matters. We are adding a page to our website to celebrate smokers who have quit. If you would like to join our gallery of successful quitters in 2013, email us on email@example.com with your story and a photo.
Breathing Matters will be producing Christmas Cards this year – the cost of which will go directly towards research work in the Centre for Respiratory Research.
There are 2 styles available, both designed by children. Packs will include 5 of each design, totalling 10 cards per pack. All cards are A6 (14.8cm x 10.5cm) in size.
Click on ths link to see the images Charity Christmas Cards for Breathing Matters
Price per pack of 10 cards with envelopes is £3.99.
You can pre-order yours now via firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also looking for volunteers to sell these locally for us – if you feel you could do this, please contact Donna Basire on email@example.com