Local pharmacists are taking a more active role in the care of respiratory patients as revealed by Mr Vincent Campbell, of Campbell’s Pharmacy, Portrush at the March meeting of Breathe Easy Causeway, a subsidiary of the British Lung Foundation.
Mr Campbell, revealing that pharmacists were currently involved in a respiratory medicines-use review, quoted a number of compelling statistics.
This was to show that there was a necessary need to educate those people battling severe lung disease in the proper use of their inhalers and variety of medication.
He pointed out that a 2008 study showed that 75% of patients reported that they were using their inhalers properly but, when reviewed, only 10% actually demonstrated the correct technique.
While a 2011 study, evaluating the effectiveness of inhaler training by pharmacists, showed that the percentage of patients with optimal inhaler technique rose from 24% before to 79% after a short training session.
During the meeting Mr Campbell told Breathe Easy members: “It is vital that everyone is pro-active and careful in the proper use of their medication.”
He emphasised this message by saying: “Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of medicines are returned every year unused so it is important that careful thought is given to their need and use so that the Health Service does not face an unnecessary waste of scarce resources.”
It was a meeting of informed debate and positive news. It was announced that joining the Group is Ballymoney girl, Jackie Cochrane, a Practice Nurse specialising in respiratory care.
Jackie told the Group: “I will be delighted to advise members, either as a Group or as individuals, on how best to manage their breathing problems.”
And as a first venture with Breathe Easy Causeway, Jackie joined with Group Chairperson, Marie Hegarty, in addressing pupils of Dunseverick Primary School on the dangers of smoking.
This was part of a broader awareness campaign organised by the British Lung Foundation to mark “No-Smoking Day” on Wednesday, March 12.
Members also took part in an active Zumba session led by Jemma McLaughlin, of Route 2 Fitness. Jemma will lead a regular keep-fit programme at Group meetings throughout the year.
Chairperson, Marie, said: “It’s been good to experience the positive perspective of being breathlessness.
“We should all, do our best to lead an active lifestyle, although for some that may be a challenge.”