fighting
pulmonary fibrosis

and infection

sign up to receive quarterly newsletters

Respiratory Infections

articles

  • Related articles
  • Categories
  • Archives

Show and Tell Meetings

We have been busy this autumn meeting our fabulous supporters and patients and presenting our research work.

We had two separate patient/supporter meetings; one for bronchiectasis, and one for pulmonary fibrosis to celebrate #Breathtember (Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month).

At the Pulmonary Fibrosis/Interstitial Lung Disease event, Dr Porter along with our fabulous clinical fellows and scientists presented their integral and very interesting research work into PF.

Presentations included:

  • Dr Akif Khawaja:  The role of neutrophils in Interstitial Lung Disease: a novel target for treatment.
  • Dr Deborah Chong: The role of platelets in Interstitial Lung Disease.
  • Dr Theresia Mikolasch: The first UK non-invasive lung biopsy service.
  • Dr Theresia Mikolasch: Using Cryobiopsy to assess Inhaled drug delivery to the distal lung.
  • Dr Manuela Plate:  Can we use circulating DNA to tell us about genetic changes in the lung?
  • Dr Wes Wellard:  Finding new genetic mutations in patients with IPF.
  • Dr Jagdeep Sahota:  The role of mucins in IPF.

After lunch, the focus group discussed future areas of research into interstitial lung disease.

The scientists loved meeting you and one scientist said that meeting you helped ‘motivate us to do more and do it better and quicker’.

 

At the Bronchiectasis Evening, Professor Brown explained what we know about bronchiectasis and what we still need to find out. And, importantly, how Breathing Matters can help. This was followed by a lively Q+A session when Professor Brown answered some in-depth questions on the treatment of the disease.

We were also treated to Jane Walker’s personal and touching account of coping with her condition. Jane organises our annual Christmas Concert and we were lucky to have one of the Holst Singers along with a representative from Pharma Profile who has given a donation towards the costs of staging this concert, with us that evening.

It was so lovely to meet so many of you in person and we look forward to seeing many of you at our Christmas Concert at St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden on Friday, 8th December 2017.

These meetings show how Breathing Matters have helped research into both lung diseases since our inception in 2011, and it is thanks to all our fundraisers and donors that this has been achieved.

We could not have done this without your support – thank you!

 

Christmas Concert Tickets Now Available

A CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION

WITH THE HOLST SINGERS

Friday 8th December 2017 – 7.30pm

St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden

Our annual Christmas Concert with the Holst Singers will take place on Friday 8th December at 7.30pm. The Holst Singers is one of Britain’s foremost choirs, described by the BBC as a “leading chorus on the international stage”.  The concert takes place in the lovely setting of the 17th century St Paul’s Church on the Covent Garden piazza that was designed by Inigo Jones, and will feature well-known traditional carols, as well as more contemporary Christmas music.

The concert will raise money for Breathing Matters, and in particular research into Bronchiectasis led by Professor Brown at University College London.  Our guest readers this year are well known BBC Radio Presenters Nigel Rees and Charlotte Green. Nigel Rees is a writer and broadcaster who has been presenting Radio 4’s “Quote….Unquote” for 40 years.  Charlotte Green has been a familiar voice on the radio for many years, having been the news reader for the Radio 4 “Today” programme and presented the comedy programme “The News Quiz”, and currently being the “reader” for “Quote….unquote”.  In 2013, she joined Classic FM as well as BBC Radio 5 Live, where she announces the football results.

Book your tickets now for what promises to be an evening of wonderful festive entertainment.

Tickets (£25) are now on sale here.  For further information and paper tickets, please contact Jane Walker either by email missjanewalker@hotmail.com or by phone 01732 366346.

 

”Donation received from Profile Pharma, towards the costs of staging this concert”

 

Save

Save

Christmas Concert – Get Your Tickets Here

Holly Please join us for:

an Evening of Carols

for Choir and Audience

with Seasonal Readings 

 

St Paul’s Church, Covent GardenSt Pauls logos

Friday 9th December 2016 at 7.30pm

The proceeds from the concert will go towards funding           Professor Jeremy Brown’s research at UCL into Bronchiectasis 

 

The Holst Singers is one of Britain’s foremost choirs

and has been described by the BBC

as a leading chorus on the international stage

Holst Singers Logo

Tickets are £25 and are now available from http://www.bmchristmas.bpt.me

For further details and paper tickets:

please contact Jane Walker

Tel: 01732 366346

Email: missjanewalker@hotmail.com

Gold Quiz: Autumn 2016 Newsletter

1964 James Bond movie – Goldfinger

Pyrite – Fools Gold

1849 California event – Gold Rush

What King Midas had – Golden Touch

Kanye West song – Gold Digger

Former name of Ghana – Gold Coast

Oil – Black Gold

Francis Drake’s ship – Golden Hind

San Fran bridge – Golden Gate

What our supporters have – a Heart of Gold!!!

 

Christmas is A-Coming

christmas-tree-blue-vector-illustrationFor those of you interested in supporting us by buying charity Christmas cards, you can order directly online with CharityChristmasCards.com

CharityChristmasCards.com sell both paper cards and, for those of you who are more green in nature, they also provide online cards to email to your friends and family. They also supply corporate cards so you can put your company name on the front cover.  Up to 50p per card is donated directly to Breathing Matters.

For those of you around the London area, why not come along to our Charity Christmas stall on Friday 25.11.16 11am-2pm at UCH Atrium where we will be selling stocking fillers, jewellery and designer handmade Christmas cards.

If you are interested in purchasing our handmade Christmas cards, which Jane Walker has designed, contact us directly on breathingmatters@ucl.ac.uk

Would you like to find out what type of Christmas charity supporter you are?  Read our article at http://bit.ly/19gNAoH

 

Don’t Let Flu Catch You This Year

bug-chasing-manThe ‘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
  • Symptoms appear suddenly
  • Leaves you exhausted and unable to move, affecting the whole body
  • Can cause complications, including pneumonia, sometimes fatal
  • Lasts for one week, then you get better
  • Symptoms appear gradually
  • Affects only nose, throat, sinuses and upper chest
  • Still able to function
  • Recover fully in a week

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.healthy-man
  • 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.

A Present for #Breathtember

group-shot-with-mark-cTo celebrate #Breathtember, we are offering Early Bird tickets (at 2015 prices!) for our fabulous cycling fundraiser, Cyclotopia, at the Lee Valley VeloPark on Sunday. 11th June 2017.

Experience an action-packed family fundraising day out at the iconic Velodrome in the amazing Lee Valley VeloPark within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Cyclotopia Package includes:

  • Road Circuit – Cycle on the premium mile long track.  Who can go the fastest?  Who can go the longest?
  • Mountain Bike Trails – Challenge yourself on the exciting off-road trails.
  • Static Bike Competition – Prize for the fastest!
  • Tour de France – Experience Tour de France training in the studio
  • Young Kids BMX – Right in the centre of the Velodrome, not to be missed

Velodrome Package includes:

  • A training session at the Velodrome, the fastest track in the world, with expert coaches and exciting timed laps – with a special guest!
  • All above options from the Cyclotopia Package.

This event has something for everyone – from complete novices to experienced cyclists.

Kids (under 18) go FREE for the Cyclotopia Package!

To register, visit: http://bit.ly/2cKDKZq

Hurry though, before they sell out!

 

Battle for Breath BLF Study

Doc with X-rayLung disease is one of the three biggest killer disease areas in the UK, together with heart disease and non-respiratory cancers. Furthermore, the UK has the fourth highest mortality rate from lung disease in Europe.

Overall, the burden that lung disease places on our nation’s health and health services is immense – on a par with non-respiratory cancer and heart disease. Yet the amount of resources and attention invested in tackling lung disease trails behind these other disease areas. This is further evidenced by the fact that mortality figures for lung diseases are roughly the same now as they were 10 years ago, yet for heart disease this has fallen by 15% in this same period of time.

The British Lung Foundation funded a three-year epidemiological research project titled The Battle for Breath– the impact of lung disease in the UK. The aim of this was to elucidate the true extent of the burden of respiratory disease in the UK and hence be able to serve as a valuable resource for policymakers, researchers, health care providers as well as the general public.

Their findings pertaining to IPF and bronchiectasis are summarised below:

IPF:

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is more than twice as common as National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) states in its official guidance. It is 50% more common in men and around 85% of diagnoses are made in people aged over 70. Around 32,500 people in the UK live with IPF and there are around 6,000 new cases diagnosed a year. Overall, 5,300 people die from IPF each year.

Bronchiectasis:

Around 210,000 people in the UK were living with bronchiectasis in 2012. This is at least four times higher than the estimate commonly used by the NHS. Other studies have suggested an even higher number and more research is required to confirm the true prevalence of the disease and to clarify whether bronchiectasis is becoming more common, or being diagnosed more accurately.

Around 35% more women than men are diagnosed with bronchiectasis each year. In 2012, bronchiectasis was over 20% more prevalent in the least deprived communities than in the most deprived. From 2008 to 2012, recorded deaths from bronchiectasis went up by 30%: from 1,150 to 1,500.

For more details, you can access the full report on https://www.blf.org.uk/what-we-do/our-research/the-battle-for-breath-2016 .BLF logo

Written by Dr Aemun Salam, UCL Respiratory

 

 

Answers to Pneumonia Quiz

1. Pneumonia is an infection of which part of the lungs?

b – the alveoli, deep within the lung. Because pneumonia inflames the alveoli, it reduces the lungs ability to take up oxygen and is therefore much more dangerous than commoner lung infections such as bronchitis (an infection affecting the bronchi)

 

2. What proportion of childhood deaths in the world are due to pneumonia?

a – pneumonia is the single commonest cause of death in children under 5 across the world. Most of children dying of pneumonia live in the developing world, where it can be difficult to get vaccines and antibiotic treatment.

 

3. What makes you more likely to catch pneumonia?

d (all of the above) – smoking, excess alcohol, and flu (and other respiratory viruses) all weaken the lung defences against bacteria so make pneumonia more likely

 

4. The bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of pneumonia. Where does it usually live when it is not causing pneumonia?

a – Streptococcus pneumoniae is found living harmlessly in the back of the throat of 10% of adults and 50% of young children. From there it occasionally gets into the lungs and causes pneumonia

 

5. Who should be vaccinated against Streptococcus pneumoniae?

d (all of the above)– all these groups are at much higher risk of catching pneumonia and should be vaccinated against Streptococcus pneumoniae.

 

Thanks for taking our quiz: how did you do?

World Pneumonia Day: Take Our Two Minute Quiz

Pneumonia is an infection of which part of the lungs?

  1. The bronchi (the tubes taking air into the lungs)
  2. The alveoli (the tiny air sacs deep within the lung from where oxygen gets into the blood)
  3. The pleura (the lining of the outer part of the lungs)

 

What proportion of childhood deaths in the world are due to pneumonia?

  1. Nearly 20%
  2. Less than 1%
  3. About 5%

 

What makes you more likely to catch pneumonia?

  1. Smoking
  2. Drinking a lot of alcohol
  3. Having flu
  4. All of the above

 

The bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of pneumonia. Where does it usually live when it is not causing pneumonia?

  1. In the back of the throat
  2. In water sources such as air conditioning units
  3. In rats or other rodents

 

Who should be vaccinated against Streptococcus pneumoniae?

  1. Infants
  2. People aged over 65 years
  3. People with chronic lung, heart or kidney disease
  4. All of the above

 

For answers, please click here