June 10, 2019

A new COPD clinic at CAMC opened in April that provides specialized, multidisciplinary care for the progressive and complicated disease affecting thousands in West Virginia.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease describes ongoing, progressive lung diseases like pulmonary emphysema, chronic bronchitis and refractory asthma. With these conditions, airways in the lungs are blocked and it makes it hard for patients to breathe. Symptoms include cough, increased sputum, wheezing and shortness of breath.

While there is no cure for COPD, certain lifestyle changes, medications and treatments can help patients manage the disease. The most common cause of COPD is smoking, so cessation is important. Patients also can control risk factors with proper nutrition and rest, staying current on vaccinations and practicing good hand hygiene. Another important step in managing the disease is active participation in ongoing therapies, as well as regular assessment of those treatments.

“COPD is a chronic condition. It’s the third leading cause of death in the U.S., and rates are climbing,” said Lo’ay M. Al-Asadi, MD, pulmonary disease specialist. “There is a high risk of mortality, so quick follow-up and good compliance with treatment is important.”

The COPD clinic is located in the Outpatient Care Center on the fourth floor of the CAMC Heart and Vascular Center. Its staff includes physicians, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, clinical nurses, nurse navigators and pharmacists.

“Because it’s a chronic condition, patients are often readmitted after discharge and we want to help keep patients out of the hospital,” Al-Asadi said. “The clinic provides access to a subspecialist and ongoing outpatient care, if necessary, to patients any time they need it.”

The clinic provides the following services, among others:

  • Patient education on COPD management and symptom recognition
  • Medication review
  • Risk factor management
  • Access to and evaluation for therapies that can improve outcomes such as cardiopulmonary rehab
  • Timely follow-up

The clinic is accepting new patients. No referral is necessary. Free and reserved parking is available for patients of the clinic near the main entrance of CAMC Memorial Hospital. For more information or to make an appointment, call (304) 388-5590.

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