VOX in Aragon claims the recognition of a particularly vulnerable group to patients with a diagnosis of COPD. In a Non-Law Proposal, it proposes measures to be adopted in relation to those affected with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the current socio-sanitary situation.
Thus, it calls for timely and specific measures to be adopted for these patients. First, in order to avoid the social isolation they suffer, allow them to carry out ordinary activities. But also, enable some time slots or other measures that are considered appropriate, in order to avoid contagion risks.
Likewise, conducting information campaigns with the aim of increasing awareness and visibility of COPD. And promote access to diagnostic tests in primary care that can lead to early detection of the disease.
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a chronic disease that causes a severe limitation in respiratory capacity. It manifests itself as coughing, choking, fatigue, and mucus production. A continuous shortness of breath, which also produces tightness in the chest and a feeling of permanent exhaustion. It predisposes to frequent exacerbations and serious diseases.
It is a chronic disease because it is of long duration and slow progression, that is, people with COPD suffer for years its physical and psychological consequences and it is associated with high mortality (29,000 deaths / year in Spain). It is incurable, but treatment can alleviate symptoms, improve quality of life, and reduce risk of death.
The Ministry of Health, in the National COPD Strategy approved more than 10 years ago, proposed: “Increase the awareness of the medical community, public health agents, and the general public that COPD is a relevant public health problem”. And today we know that early diagnosis is essential to reverse the progression of the disease.
COPD is a socially ignored disease (despite having 3 million affected), in general little is said about it, it is not known or aware of its severity, that is why when a patient is diagnosed, it is not adequately sized or aware of its consequences. It is the fourth cause of death in Spain and the third in the world. It is not the most common chronic disease, but it is the deadliest. It causes more deaths than very present diseases and with specific approaches in continuous development such as lung cancer (21,000 deaths annually), breast cancer (7,000), HIV (1,091) or colon cancer (16,000). It has gone from 18,000 annual deaths in 2007 to 29,000 in 2018.
Greater social awareness
As it is an invisible and socially ignored disease, VOX believes that emphasis should be placed on its importance and severity. All this for a greater awareness, not only of patients, but also of society.
COPD patients feel that their quality of life is significantly affected by the disease. And even more so in the current healthcare context. As a consequence of the pandemic produced by COVID-19, patients diagnosed with COPD fear being infected with the microorganism SARS.CoV-2. Aware of their own respiratory failure, and taking into account that 22% of the people who have died in Spain from coronavirus suffered from COPD.
As the COPD patient sees his physical abilities diminish, he reduces his social outings and relationships. This isolation in space also translates into isolation from the social environment, friends and family. On the other hand, the use of inhalers, bronchodilators, oxygen therapy, etc. They not only transform the daily life of the COPD patient, but also their identity, self-perception and self-esteem.