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    Understanding COPD

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a condition that involves restricted airflow and an abnormal inflammatory response in the lungs. The symptoms of COPD grow progressively worse over time. Although there is no cure, various treatments can help patients manage their symptoms. Sometimes, emergency situations can arise—when this occurs, patients should seek emergency care at the nearest hospital. Continue reading to find out more about this condition.

    Signs and Symptoms

    The symptoms of COPD tend to be mild initially, and then grow worse over time. They commonly include chest tightness, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Patients often report an ongoing cough. They may experience a cough with a great deal of mucus, which is frequently referred to as “smoker’s cough.” Patients should seek emergency care for certain symptoms, including a rapid heartbeat and a lack of mental alertness. If the lips or fingernails turn grayish or bluish, this indicates a low oxygen level in the blood, which requires emergency care.

    Causes and Risk Factors

    COPD is most often caused by cigarette smoke or other inhaled tobacco products. However, other types of lung irritants, such as chemical fumes and air pollution, can lead to COPD if inhaled on a long-term basis. Sometimes, COPD is a complication of asthma. In addition to those who smoke, people with a family history of COPD and those over the age of 40 have a heightened risk of developing the condition.

    Treatment Options

    COPD treatments can help slow the progression of the disease, alleviate symptoms, and improve quality of life. Patients who smoke are strongly advised to quit. It’s also important to avoid other types of lung irritants, like chemical fumes. Physicians may prescribe medications, such as bronchodilators. Some people with COPD may require oxygen therapy or surgery.

    Fawcett Memorial Hospital provides extensive inpatient rehabilitation services, including respiratory therapy. Our friendly staff also provides high-quality cardiac care, senior care, and emergency care to those throughout the Port Charlotte area. To obtain a physician referral or to find out more about our hospital services, please call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (888) 685-1599.

    Eating Out Tips for People with Diabetes

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Individuals with diabetes should work closely with a dietitian and other members of their care team to learn how to adhere to a healthy meal plan that won’t result in blood sugar spikes. If you have diabetes, it’s important to pay attention to portion size. Ask for a takeout box and place half of a large portion size in it before you even begin eating. Scrutinize the menu and select foods that are grilled, baked, broiled, or poached, and avoid fried foods.

    You can learn more helpful tips for dining out with diabetes by watching this video. The expert in the clip offers some suggestions for navigating fast food options and interacting with a restaurant’s waitstaff.

    Since 1975, Fawcett Memorial Hospital has been proud to provide emergency care in Port Charlotte. For information on our senior care, cardiac care, or emergency services, call (888) 685-1599 today.

    Sizing Up Strokes in Seniors [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Strokes can happen to anyone, at any time, but they are most prevalent in seniors. About 75% of strokes occur in people over age 65, and the risk of having a stroke spikes every 10 years after age 55. Seniors may need specialized care after experiencing a stroke. Stroke aftercare depends on the severity of the brain damage, and seniors may need in-patient rehab and in-home care from family members as they relearn basic daily activities, like dressing themselves. Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte—a Certified Primary Stroke Center—offers this infographic to educate about stroke risks. Fast emergency care is the key to good outcomes when strokes occur, so please share this important information with family and friends. 

    What Does a Healthy Plate Look Like for a Person with Diabetes?

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Healthy eating is an important part of managing diabetes and keeping your blood glucose levels in check. However, it’s not always easy to know how to build a meal that gives you the nutrients you need. This video explains more.

    Start by dividing your plate in half in your mind. Fill one part of your plate with non-starchy vegetables. Divide the remaining half of the plate into two sections. One section should be filled with healthy carbs, like whole grain rice, and the other should be filled with lean protein.

    At Fawcett Memorial Hospital, we can help you manage your diabetes. We also provide emergency care, cardiac care, and more to our Port Charlotte, FL community. To find out more about our hospital services, please visit our website or call (888) 685-1599.   

    Tips for Improving Home Safety for Seniors

    Last updated 4 years ago

    For seniors, staying healthy and independent starts with home safety. It’s easy to make changes to the home environment to help seniors avoid hazards that could send them to the emergency room. Fawcett Memorial Hospital’s physicians are a great source of information about senior care techniques, so be sure to ask for advice during your next appointment. Here are some easy tweaks you can make at home to help keep yourself or your senior loved one safe.

    Boost Lighting

    It’s not easy for anyone to navigate dark rooms and hallways, but it can be even tougher for seniors, who may be facing changing with their vision. To make things safer, install night lights in bedrooms and hallways. Add additional task lighting as needed throughout the home. Extra light can help prevent falls and can even reduce eyestrain for activities like reading. Install light switches by the entranceways of all rooms so they’re easy to reach. Choose 100-200 watt bulbs for most lamps.

    Remove Trip Hazards

    Falling is one of the biggest at-home risks seniors face. You can greatly reduce that risk by removing trip hazards in the home. Start by taping down the edges of mats and area rugs so they don’t pose a risk. Keep cords out of walkways and try to bind them together so they’re not scattered. Make sure all walkways are clear, and set up furniture so that there are wide pathways throughout each room.

    Check Warning Systems

    It’s important to make sure that all fire alarms function properly. Change the batteries every time you change the clocks so it is easy to remember. You or your loved one can also benefit from having carbon monoxide detectors that will sound an alarm if dangerous levels of carbon monoxide are detected.

    Fawcett Memorial Hospital has the senior care services you need, from emergency care to outpatient rehab. For a referral to a physician or to find out about all of the senior care services at our Port Charlotte hospital, please call (888) 685-1599. 


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