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Advance for Respiratory Care & Sleep Medicine • January 2017

16 ADVANCE FOR RESPIRATORY CARE & SLEEP MEDICINE PULMONARY HEALTH One of the problems that we have with chronic lung disease is that patients get worsening shortness of breath when they’re active, which leads to a vicious cycle where they become less active and worsen their overall performance.” — Gregory C. Kane, MD, FACP, chair The Jane and Leonard Korman Professor of Pulmonary Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia JANUARY 2017 ruses floating around — causing them to avoid the amount of activity they normally maintain during warmer months, leaving patients with exacerbated symptoms and pulmonary rehab specialists with a higher caseload. “Pulmonary rehab may be even more crucial in the winter months because the opportunity for patients with a chronic lung disease to be active outside the home is much more limited,” said Gregory C. Kane, MD, FACP, chair and The Jane and Leonard Korman Professor of Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Medicine, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. “During the good weather, our patients may be able to attend events like a baseball game or go on vacation where they can be outside. That gives them an opportunity to maintain a certain level of activity that can help them maintain their conditioning.” If you have a chronic respiratory illness, it’s important to be aware of the implications of living in a colder area or in locales with harsh winter seasons. Noah Greenspan, DPT, CCS, EMT-B, cardiovascular and pulmonary clinical specialist and program director at Pulmonary Wellness & Rehabilitation Center in New York City, explained that there are two main concerns for patients during this season. “A lot of people have difficulty with the cold from a physiological perspective, meaning they walk outside and their airways naturally tighten up,” Greenspan said. “The other concern is because people are often much less active, spending more time indoors — possibly eating more — then spring comes and they are much more short of breath due to this inactivity and deconditioning during the winter.” “One of the problems that we have with chronic lung disease is that patients get worsening shortness of breath CREDIT: COURTESY PULMONARY WELLNESS & REHABILITATION CENTER


Advance for Respiratory Care & Sleep Medicine • January 2017
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