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Thoracic Medicine

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Sleep Medicine

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Often times when we can’t sleep or we feel tired throughout the day, there are common “quick fixes” which we use to help us fall asleep easier and give us an extra boost in the morning. However, some of these habits can often be detrimental to your sleep health, affecting you not just at night, but throughout the day as well.

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New research has found that the less we sleep in midlife, the faster our brains can decline and lead to cognitive impairment in old age.

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“What is happening in YOUR sleep?!? How can you really know? Ever thought of using a sleep app? There are some misunderstandings to what data is relevant when using sleep apps so understanding the limitations are IMPORTANT. "It is always recommended to follow up with a sleep study to be sure nothing is missed. “

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A diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) may raise the risk of osteoporosis, particularly among women or older individuals, according to a new study. OSA is a condition that causes brief interruptions in breathing during sleep. If left untreated, OSA can raise the risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.  New research shows that OSA may also increase the risk of osteoporosis.

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Insomnia predisposes individuals to increased risk of stroke and this association is profound among young adults – up to eight times greater among insomniacs 18 to 34 years old.  The results of a recent study underscore the clinical importance of identifying and treating insomnia.

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Heavy drinking damages the body in many ways. In addition to liver failure, alcoholics are at a much greater risk of developing pneumonia and life threatening acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), for which there is no treatment. Researchers suspect that alcoholics are more susceptible to these lung diseases because the immune system in the lung is no longer strong enough to protect from infection and damage, but, it had been unclear why the immune system in the lung fails.

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The Wesley Hospital Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programme

"BREATHWISE"

The Wesley Hospital Pulmonary Rehabilitation  Programme

Breathwise, a pulmonary rehabilitation programme based at The Wesley Hospital, focuses on a multi-disciplinary outpatient programme for patients with chronic lung disease, particularly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Our team is headed by Dr Andrew Scott (Medical Director) and Jonna MacFadyen (Senior Rehabilitation Physiotherapist). We include thoracic medical specialists, thoracic physiotherapists, nursing staff, occupational therapy staff, a clinical psychologist and pharmacist.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a proven self-management program that is effective in improving the quality of life of people with COPD, and importantly, reducing hospital admissions. Pulmonary rehabilitation programs are suitable for people who have underlying chronic lung disease and who are limited by dyspnoea (sensation of breathlessness). This programme will address the primary aims of pulmonary rehabilitation, which are to reduce the disability and handicap of people with chronic lung diseases and to restore patients to the highest possible level of independent functioning.

In Australia only 1% of COPD patients who could benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation have access to it, prompting the development of this service in 2008. To date we have successfully treated many patients, with improvements in exercise and functional capacity, quality of life scores, independence with activities of daily living and comfort of breathing.

Aims of the Programmepulmonary_rehabilitation_class1

  • To increase your strength and the distance you can walk
  • To increase your quality of life
  • To increase your confidence and ability to cope

Who Benefitspulmonary_rehabilitation_class2

  • Any person with lung disease who has difficulty breathing and who finds that day to day activities are getting harder
  • Patients requiring supplemental oxygen are encouraged to attend
  • The program does involve exercise but this is aimed specifically for people who get short of breath so all levels of ability are catered for
  • It is very important that you attend each session

The First Step - Talk to Your Doctor

  • Doctor's referral required

The First Visit

  • This will be an individual apoointment that will take about one hour
  • During this visit you will be assessed and the program explained to you in more detail by our senior physiotherapist

The Programpulmonary_rehabilitation_class3

  • You will need to attend twice a week, for an 8 week period. This is to ensure you receive the full benefit from the program
  • Any inidivual exercise program will be designed for you
  • It will be gentle at first. Each time you attend you will asked to do a little more
  • You must also follow a home exercise program so that when the 8 weeks are up you will know how to exercise at home to stay fit
  • As well as the exercise session, there will be an edication session on each visit. THis will be presented by our health profresionals to help you nunderstand your disease and learn some management skills.

Medical referrals can be directed by contacting Wesley Therapy Services:
Phone : (07) 3232 7048, and (07) 3232 6233
Fax : (07) 3232 6508
Email : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Download : Download Breathwise Referral

Additional background information on this area of medicine is available from the Australian Lung Foundation website

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