CHRISTMAS SEAL donations at work in Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, December 8th“ The Lung Association is deeply concerned about the three main threats to lung health in Saskatchewan, namely children's lung disease, sleep apnea, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).Â
On November 24th, at a reception for Members of the Legislative Assembly, a group of delegates selected by The Lung Association spoke with MLAs from all over Saskatchewan regarding these lung health threats. The costs of inadequate crisis management of lung disease are much greater, both in financial and human terms, than implementing proactive strategies, says Brian Graham, President and CEO of The Lung Association.
By carefully managing the money that the people of Saskatchewan have entrusted to The Lung Association, we have taken the following measures regarding:
Children's lung disease:Â Respiratory disease is the number one cause of hospitalization for Saskatchewan babies and children.Â We addressed the scarcity of lung specialists for our children by recruiting our only pediatric respirologist to the province in 1998 and a second pediatric respirologist in November 2004.Â Saskatchewan has the only medical school in Canada that does not have an alternate funding plan for pediatric respirologists.Â As a result, The Lung Association provides a $50,000 retainer fee to these lung specialists annually.
Sleep Apnea: Sleep Apnea is the intermittent absence of breathing during sleep.Â In Saskatchewan, 2855 people are on an indefinite and growing waiting list for sleep apnea testing in sleep labs and a further 36,000 are undiagnosed.Â In 2004, The Lung Association initiated a Home Monitoring System pilot project to screen for sleep apnea.Â During sleep, in the home environment, data is collected and then forwarded to the respirologist for diagnosis. As a result of the tremendous success of this pilot project, in January 2005, The Lung AssociationÂ will continue to offer this service.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): In 2005, there will be 32,000 people suffering from COPD in Saskatchewan.Â COPD refers to a number of chronic lung disorders that obstruct the airways.Â A combination of chronic bronchitis and emphysema is the most common form of COPD.Â COPD is the fastest growing cause of hospitalization and death in Canada and will soon be the third leading cause of death.Â COPD is irreversible but rehabilitation programs can significantly improve the quality of life for people with COPD and significantly reduce rates of hospitalization by 42%.
In addition to providing a grant to initiate a provincial COPD rehabilitation program and collect data to show its impact on health care utilization in Saskatchewan, The Lung Association's BreathWorksâ„¢ program was developed to provide COPD information, resources, and support to our citizens.Â By calling our BreathWorksâ„¢ Helpline at: 1-888-717-COPD (2673), our residents are able to speak at length to COPD educators.
This holiday season the Lung Association of Saskatchewan has placed Christmas Seals in the mailbox of approximately 300,000 households in Saskatchewan with the goal of raising $300,000 for children's lung disease, sleep apnea, COPD and other areas of respiratory health. Please contact us by phone at 1-888-566-LUNG (5864), by making a secure online donation at www.sk.lung.ca/donate or by responding to our mail appeal.
The Lung Association of Saskatchewan is a member of the Canadian Lung Association which has been working to improve lung health for 104 years.Â It is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that relies on donations from the public to fund its activities.Â You will find The Lung Association, the premier source for respiratory health initiatives in the province, active in your community conducting programs on asthma, COPD, sleep apnea and reduction of tobacco use, providing training for health professionals, delivering health education in schools, facilitating patient support groups and lobbying for clean air.
For more information from your Lung Association, contact:
Bernie Bolley, BScN, R.N., C.A.E.
343-9640, ext. 241
When you can't breathe, nothing else matters.