September 7, 2015 – COPD Treatment


Anchor lead: Some people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may breathe easier with a new device, Elizabeth Tracey reports.

Reducing the volume of lungs affected by COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or emphysema, actually makes people with the condition breathe easier.  David Feller-Kopman, a lung expert at Johns Hopkins, describes what if feels like to have COPD.

Feller-Kopman: If you could take a breath, to what we call total lung capacity, just take a deep breath in, and then breathe up there, it’s hard to breathe up there, and that’s the shortness of breath that our patients are feeling, so by achieving lung volume reduction quality of life significantly improves.  :16

A new device that resembles a valve has been used for some time in Europe to achieve this, and is now being tested in the US.

Feller-Kopman: We identify the proper areas to put these valves in based on some CT scan the patient has had, and the valves go through a working channel within the bronchoscope, we deploy the valves, we wake the patient up, and then we watch them overnight in the hospital.   :15

Feller-Kopman says about a third of people with COPD may be candidates for such an intervention.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.