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Breathing better is focus of new group

More than 35 million adults in the United States reportedly have a chronic lung disease. About 12 million people have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, and there are as many as 12 million more that have COPD but don’t know it, according to the American Lung Association.

With such a large number of patients across the U.S. and even in Pahrump suffering from COPD, the respiratory therapy department at Desert View Hospital plans to host its first ever Better Breathers Club tomorrow at 10 a.m.

The Better Breathers Club is an American Lung Association group that provides support, education and socialization to individuals affected by COPD and their families.

“It’s a social group we formed as an outreach to the community to reach the COPD patient, the emphysema patient, and give them information to help themselves,” John Foresee, Registered Respiratory Therapist and the Respiratory Manager at DVH, said. “It’s a support group for people with COPD, other lung diseases who often feel alone or isolated and at the meetings we can help them learn the skills to help manage their condition and improve their quality of life.”

The group will cover a wide range of topics from different therapies, equipment, techniques and other ways patients suffering from COPD or other lung ailments can better manage their conditions.

The idea to start a chapter of the Better Breathers Club at Desert View began after the American Lung Association, who has worked with the hospital during different health fairs and activities over the years, approached Desert View.

Foresee, who is one of three people who will be leading the monthly classes, said after the group approached Desert View about starting its own Better Breathers Club, he took an online course, which took between seven and eight hours to complete, to become certified to facilitate the classes.

The manager said the hospital often sees the many residents in the Pahrump area who suffer from COPD and other lung issues.

The goal of the monthly classes, he said, is to give patients a forum to talk about their issues, ask questions about their conditions and find new information to aid them in managing their illness.

“Really what this is going to be about is whatever they would like to see from equipment to oxygen therapy, what would they like to learn about? That’s what we want to target,” he said. “We’ll definitely have them participate. And anything they find online and want to bring in we can discuss, because there are so many different topics, therapies, equipment and medications, so whatever we can help them find out is what it’s about.”

Each month the class will feature a different topic and different guest speakers presenting new information to attendees.

Foresee, along with fellow certified respiratory therapists Jessica Medici and Rosalyn Baguisi, will hold the classes on the third Thursday of every month beginning tomorrow.

The classes begin at 10 a.m. and are free and open to the public.

For more information call 775-751-7507.

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