Memorial Helps Severe Asthma Patients Breathe Easier with New Treatment
Memorial first hospital east of the Cascades to offer procedure
Yakima – More than 20 million Americans live with asthma every day. In Yakima County, one in 11 adults have this respiratory disease that causes the lungs to narrow making it difficult to breathe. There is no cure for asthma; however, it can be managed with proper education and treatment. And now, there’s a cutting edge treatment for people with moderate to severe forms of the disease whose symptoms are not well managed with standard medications.
Memorial is the first hospital in Central and Eastern Washington to offer bronchial thermoplasty. This is the first non-pharmaceutical procedure approved by the FDA for the treatment of severe persistent asthma in patients 18 years and older.
Bronchial thermoplasty uses a small catheter to deliver controlled energy to the airways of the lung to reduce the amount of excessive airway smooth muscle. This reduction decreases the muscle’s ability to constrict the airways, resulting in a decreased frequency of asthma attacks. The minimally invasive procedure is performed via bronchoscopy in three outpatient visits
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) estimates asthma accounts for approximately 13 million asthma attacks, 2 million emergency room visits, 500,000 hospitalizations and 4,000 deaths each year.
“This has the potential to be a life-changing procedure,” said Ismael Matus, MD, a pulmonologist from the Lung and Asthma Center of Central Washington with medical privileges at Memorial. “People who have this done should see their symptoms ease so they will use their rescue inhalers less, make fewer trips to the ER and they will improve their quality of life,”
There are few risks with this procedure, but include a temporary increase and worsening of respiratory-related symptoms immediately after the procedure that rarely, but could require hospitalization. Patients are encouraged to talk to their physician to determine if they are a candidate for bronchial thermoplasty.
Please visit our website at http://www.yakimamemorial.org/pdf/medical-services-respitory-therapy-bronchial-thermoplasty.pdf#zoom=100 to learn more about bronchial thermoplasty. To learn more about asthma, please go to www.aafa.org.