Students from the Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill and Mayfield in Southampton have been given a unique insight into lung health by NHS teams for World COPD Awareness Month. COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, describes a group of lung diseases caused by smoking tobacco. In COPD the airways become blocked and narrowed, making it difficult to breathe normally and make everyday tasks a real challenge.
Scientists, Doctors, physiotherapists and nurses from Southampton General Hospital and Solent NHS Trust respiratory teams visited the Academy and shared their experiences of treating patients with COPD. They also discussed ways in which the students could protect their lungs through not smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke. Students were shown pictures of damaged lungs caused by smoking before a patient with COPD, Eric, shared his story of living with the disease. Eric said, ‘I started smoking at the age of 9. I have worked hard to stay fit since I was diagnosed, and gave up smoking but its impact has stayed with me for years’.
Students also had the opportunity to look at healthy and diseased lung tissue through microscopes and learn about how excess sputum, which is common in COPD, effects the airways. The students were able to monitor their carbon monoxide levels, which is a dangerous chemical contained in tobacco using specialist equipment and Apps on ipads enabled them to better understand how smoking ages the skin.
Principal, Rob Forder at Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill said ‘We are thankful for the visit by leading medical experts from Southampton General Hospital. Our students gained important knowledge that will help them make more informed decisions in the future. They were particularly impacted by the stories of a patient living with lung disease’.