Donate to COPD Research, Patient Care and Education

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) refers to a small group of diseases that cause blockages in the airways of a person’s lungs, making it difficult to breathe. One type of COPD–emphysema–occurs when air sacs in the lungs, or alveoli, are destroyed, causing increasingly difficult breathing. Another type of COPD–chronic bronchitis–occurs when there is a blockage of airways due to inflammation and excessive mucus in the lungs. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States, but your contribution to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will help specialists at Northwestern Medicine continue to bring that number down.

More than 16 million Americans have COPD with varying degrees of impairment.  While the majority of patients with COPD are smokers, more than 25 percent of all patients diagnosed have never picked up a cigarette.  Constant exposure to secondhand smoke, chemical fumes or particle dust are all culprits in perpetuating this disease. Your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will enable specialists at Northwestern Medicine to detect COPD early, no matter what the cause, and to provide treatment that may help in halting its progression.  Your financial support will strengthen our ability to efficiently test for, and to diagnose, COPD at its earliest stages, using some of the following tests:

  • Spirometry: Measures the quantity and speed of air a patient exhales to determine how much the bronchial tubes are inflamed and narrowed.
  • Peak flow meter: Measures how hard one can exhale.
  • Arterial blood gas: Checks the levels of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and acidity in the blood.
  • Exercise oximetry: Checks the oxygen level in the blood during moments of exertion
  • X-ray: Can detect the amount of deterioration in the lungs.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan: Combines X-ray and computer technology to create detailed cross-sectional images of the chest cavity.
  • Bronchoscopy: An endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera on the end) is inserted into your airway to check for damage.

COPD Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

By making a gift to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help to ensure that these tests, and others, are available to Northwestern Medicine physicians as they strive to diagnose COPD in an accurate and timely manner. While there is not yet a cure for COPD, our multidisciplinary group of specialists provides a variety of therapies and services that range from metered dose inhalers to supplemental oxygen, physical therapy, lifestyle counseling and, in more severe cases, lung volume reduction surgery or lung transplants.  Members of Northwestern Medicine’s Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine provide complete diagnostic and treatment services, and represent one of the largest Pulmonary and Critical Care programs in the Midwest. When you donate to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will become an essential part of providing a better quality of life for people with COPD. Equally important, you will help to give hope to patients and their families.

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