Hospital to hold seminar on managing asthma

By BRYN STOLE Staff Writer

Greenwood Leflore Hospital will host a free public seminar Wednesday to help asthma sufferers manage their condition better.

The seminar will be held in the hospital’s conferences rooms from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A group of doctors from the hospital will discuss the disease, strategies for recognizing and avoiding asthma triggers and how to manage and deliver medication for the chronic ailment.

Hans Campbell, director of the hospital’s cardiopulmonary department, said asthma is caused by an allergic reaction — “it could be pet dander, mold or dust mites” — and causes shortness of breath, chest tightness and a cough.

Although about 20 million Americans suffer from the disease, including about 6 million children, Campbell said many people aren’t aware that it can be life-threatening.

Through medication and proper management of the condition, Campbell said, asthmatics can be helped to “lead as normal a life as possible. That’s the whole goal.”

Campbell said the condition remains the subject of extensive research. At its heart, though, he said, asthma is caused by a similar set of allergies as a bad sinus infection, with an allergen triggering a chain of allergic reactions. “You can imagine having all that going on down in your airways,” Campbell said.

At Wednesday’s seminar at the hospital, Campbell will talk about using an inhaler to deliver asthma medication and using a peak flow meter to help manage the condition.

The other featured speakers will include Dr. Mary Blair, a pediatrician from the Greenwood Children’s Clinic who will talk about asthma in children, and Dr. Srinivas Bhadriraju (or Dr. B), a pulmonologist with the Greenwood Pulmonology and Sleep Disorders Clinic, who will talk about triggers for the disease and how to avoid or manage asthma attacks.

For more information, call the Education Department at the hospital at 459-1178.

• Contact Bryn Stole at 581-7235 or bstole@gwcommonwealth.com.