Pulmonary Fibrosis support group launched

The Northern Trust in partnership with the British Lung Foundation (BLF) has recently launched a Pulmonary Fibrosis Peer Support Group for sufferers and their families across the Northern Trust area. This is only the second group of it’s kind in Northern Ireland. Feedback from the first meeting was very positive and we are encouraging others to find out more.

Pulmonary Fibrosis is an umbrella term for many different conditions that lead to a build up of scar tissue in the lungs. The scarring reduces the amount of oxygen that gets into your blood stream every time you breathe. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is the most common type of Pulmonary Fibrosis. Though most people have never heard of it, more lives are lost year-on-year by IPF than by many well-known cancers including ovarian, skin cancer and leukaemia.

There is currently no cure and the condition can reduce life expectancy significantly. But thanks to recent research into the disease, a number of new drugs are being developed, which could help people live longer.

The group offers a chance for those with Pulmonary Fibrosis across the Northern Trust area to meet others in a similar situation and also have the help and support of medical staff.

Dr Eoin Murtagh, Consultant Respiratory Physician at the Northern Trust said,

“We are very keen to hear about how best we can help people affected by any form of Pulmonary Fibrosis. That includes knowing where, when and how often this new group should meet, whether it should have an online component and how many people might be interested in coming along.

“The first meeting was very positive with a good turn out of carers and patients who were encouraged by having a chance to discuss topics with people who understand the condition. If you or a family member is interested in finding out more make sure you come along to the next meeting. ”

Nessie Blair, Service Development Manager at British Lung Foundation Northern Ireland said,

“IPF is a very difficult diagnosis. Nonetheless, with the right treatment and care people with IPF can lead full and vibrant lives.

“It often helps to talk to others who are going through the same experiences. That’s why we’re working with the Northern Trust in the launch of this new support group in the region. But we need your help to make sure it works for you.” ​

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 25 January 2017 in Fern House, Antrim Area Hospital from 5pm. For more details contact Pat Gorman, Respiratory Nurse Specialist, Northern Trust on 028 9442 4930 or email pat.gorman@northerntrust.hscni.net.

9th November 2016

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