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New treatment for people with COPD

At the American Thoracic Society meeting this May the results of two major studies demonstrating the effectiveness of a new treatment in the improvement of lung functioning of people with severe COPD, as well as its positive influence on their well-being, were presented.

In COPD, the air sacs in the lungs break down, becoming larger and ineffective. The affected area of the lung expands and causes the healthier areas to be squashed and prevented from functioning properly. By placing small one-way valves in the airway of the affected area, however, it will reduce in size to allow the healthier areas to expand and work effectively. This simple procedure takes approximately 30 minutes and is done using a small medical camera which is passed through the nose or mouth into the lungs. Patients need to stay in hospital on average one night and may go home the next day.

This procedure is now available in selected centres in European countries, and it may be possible to find centres in countries other than those listed as well. Participating centres

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