Relief as patients can breathe easy

PATIENTS with breathing disorders can breathe a little easier today after doctor's surgeries around the county were given devices which could save them regular trips to hospital.

PATIENTS with breathing disorders can breathe a little easier today after doctor's surgeries around the county were given devices which could save them regular trips to hospital.

For patient Peter Woods, who has had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease for the last five years, the new equipment is fantastic news and a sign that the medical industry is getting better educated in the field.

Forty one doctor's surgeries around Suffolk have been given a Pulse Oximeter to record the levels of oxygen in the body.

Thanks to the new machines, worth about £100 each, hundreds of patients can now just visit their GPs when they are worried about their breathing, instead of facing often lengthy trips to hospital.

It is thought the new devices, which were donated by the Suffolk Primary Care Trust, will reduce hospital admission rates.

Mr Woods, of Glemsford Close, Felixstowe, said: “Normally if I think there are problems I would contact my doctor's surgery and get an urgent appointment. From there they would send me to the A&E department at Heath Road (Ipswich Hospital) where I would have to wait for a specialist to arrive.

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“Now there is a specialist at my surgery at Howard House in Felixstowe.

“If I ever become concerned I can go there and measure the level of oxygen and they can give me some if it is needed.

“The machine is just a small thing that fits over your finger and is very simple to use.”

Mr Woods is the vice chairman of the Breathe Easy trust in the county and says he has heard horror stories of people getting conflicting advice from various doctors and having to wait for long periods of time to get any oxygen.

He added: “It is all about education and I feel that we are being taken seriously now and that the medical industry have finally realised it is better for us to be treated by people who know our history and are readily available for help.”

Are you a patient who has used one of the new devices? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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