ABC News had a great story on TV last night about asthma. Yep, you just say the word asthma and I'm all ears!! I have asthma, as do all 3 of my teenagers (sorry I passed that onto you guys!!) I'm always interested in anything new about asthma.
Did you know that 25 million people in the US have asthma? And 2.5 million have severe asthma (which can be life threatening). One of my sons, Son #2, has severe asthma. He's been hospitalized 8 times and almost stopped breathing twice. Those were scary times!!
Sometimes, you can take A LOT of asthma medication, have 5 years worth of allergy shots, and completely change your home to make it allergy and asthma friendly. But you STILL end up in the hospital repeatedly. For some reason, medication doesn't seem to work well on people with severe asthma.They can have repeated asthma attacks and frequently end up in the emergency room or hospitalized (story of my son's life.....poor guy!!!)
If you watch the ABC News story, it can be REALLY disturbing. It shows a teenager have a severe asthma attack. But it shows an example of retraction. Retraction is when you have a blockage in your lungs and the muscles are pulling inward to try to help you get air into your lungs. It's a medical emergency!!!! In the video, watch the teenager's collar bone protruding, and the skin sucking in around it. The skin will also pull in around the rib cage. If you ever see that on someone with asthma CALL 911!!!!
So, what do they do with people that have severe asthma? There is a newer treatment called Thermal Bronchoplasty. It is a medical procedure that uses a probe with 4 tiny wires that protrude. (For those of you that cook, it looks like a tiny wire whisk.) The tube goes down into the lungs and the 4 wires zap the sides of the bronchial tube. They say that the temperature is no hotter than a cup of coffee.It's also approved by the FDA.
So does it work????
Yes!!! Studies show that it reduces Emergency Room visits by 78%!!!!!
This isn't for mild or moderate asthma. Just for the 10% of asthma sufferers who have SEVERE asthma. If you have a family member with severe asthma, who doesn't seem to be responding to medication, talk to your doctor about Thermal Bronchoplasty. It could literally save their life!