On September 6 and 7 2013, Barcelona played host to a public lung function testing event in the city centre to raise awareness about spirometry, lung health and smoking cessation. The 2-day event, situated in the central Plaça de la Universitat, saw over 1,500 members of the public have their lungs tested by healthcare professionals from CREAL and the Hospital del Mar. The event coincided with the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress 2013 and was organised by the European Lung Foundation (ELF) and the ERS, in partnership with FC Barcelona, the European Commission (EC) and supported by the European COPD Coalition (ECC).
The event was opened on Friday morning by Jordi Monés, Director of the Medical Team at FC Barcelona; Cristina Iniesta Blasco, Councillor of Health for Barcelona; Monica Fletcher, Chair of ELF; Francesco Blasi, President of the ERS; Joaquim Gea, Chair of the ERS Congress, and Judith Garcia- Aymerich, Co-Chair of the ERS Congress.
To complete the grand opening, both Cristina Iniesta and Jordi Monés demonstrated a live spirometry test to the public and were the first people of the day to test their lung health.
Members of the public were then invited to test their own lungs by blowing into a spirometer to measure their lung capacity. Each testing session took place in a private booth with a healthcare professional on hand to offer information and advice about the results. Whilst waiting for the test, people were able to watch videos and read material provided in English, Catalan and Spanish, helping to raise awareness of the importance of lung health.
Patient organisations from across Spain were onsite throughout the event to offer guidance and information about lung health. The organisations were coordinated by Lovexair in order to unite the main respiratory associations of Spain and bring them together in Barcelona. They offered hands-on support at the event and were there to offer advice to the many people who came to participate in the testing.
The one-off, interactive event also encouraged people to learn more about the “Quit Smoking with Barça” campaign; a unique smoking cessation programme designed by FC Barcelona and the European Commission (EC). The collaboration between Barça and the “Ex-smokers are Unstoppable” campaign has already been a phenomenal success and representatives were on hand to help even more people kick the habit.
Visitors also had the chance the test their football skills by scoring a goal for lung health on the huge inf latable goalpost.
The event was a huge success and attracted media attention across Barcelona and caused ripples across social media sites. Local TV station TV3 filmed a live broadcast of the event to run on their evening news programme, while Barcelona TV filmed interviews with the Congress Chairs and ELF Chair, Monica Fletcher. Interest in the event was also created through posts from FC Barcelona generating almost 1,000 retweets.
ELF would like to thank the following people for their help and support with the event:
• FC Barça and the European Commission for letting the “Quit smoking with Barça” campaign be such a key part of the event
European COPD Coalition for their unrestricted grant making the event possible
Sibel Med and CareFusion for supplying the equipment
The local congress chairs, Joaquim Gea and Judith Garcia Aymerich, for all their help and support
CREAL and Hospital del Mar for providing all the testers
The city of Barcelona for giving us the permission to use Plaça de la Universitat
Lovexair for bringing all the Spanish patient organisations together and providing support to the event
The first year of cystic fibrosis
Newborn screening of cystic fibrosis is important to allow early intervention. Two new studies investigating cystic fibrosis in the first year of life have been published online ahead of print in Thorax.
The first, by researchers from the UK, wanted to investigate the progression of a newborn's lung function over the first year of life under standard treatment, in order to provide a sound basis for end-points in randomised controlled trials. In an observational longitudinal study, 72 CF infants and 44 healthy controls were recruited over a 2-year period. At the age of 3 months, with follow-up at 1 year, lung clearance index, plethysmographic functional residual volume and FEV0.5 were measured.
At 3 months, CF infants had significantly worse lung function compared with controls; at followup, there was a significant improvement in FEV0.5 and they were only 0.52 Z-scores from the control group. Additionally, the study showed that 3-month pulmonary function was predictive of those at 1 year. This latter point highlighting those in which more intensive treatment should be considered.
The other study attempted to ascertain whether or not chest CT was a reliable surrogate outcome measure for clinical trials. To date, there has been no validated scoring system in infants, so, in a multicentric observational study, researchers from the UK and USA, assessed the use of CT in CF infants.
65 infants across three centres had chest CF. Inter- and intra-observer variation on the Brody-II score was high, except in the case of air trapping and therefore chest CT is of questionable value as an endpoint for CF infants.
(Thorax; DOI: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2013-20402 and 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2013-204176)
Doctor turns to singing and social media to change medical practice
Dr Tapas Mukherjee, from Glenfield Hospital in the UK, produced and starred in a music video to draw attention to new guidelines showing a better way of managing asthma.
A study presented at the ERS Annual Congress 2013 in Barcelona demonstrated the success of this video and suggests that social media can be used to successfully improve medical practice.
Dr Mukherjee translated severe asthma guidelines into memorable lyrics and then sang the advice on how to treat acute asthma. The video was posted on the social media sites, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The study found that 100% of healthcare professionals were aware of the guidelines after the video and all aspects of asthma management and knowledge had improved, with the most significant improvements seen for chest radiograph indication and target oxygen saturation.
The ERS Bookshop: introducing two new ERS Handbooks
The 2013 ERS Congress in Barcelona saw the launch of two new and eagerly awaited titles in the ERS Handbooks series: the second edition of The ERS Handbook of Respirator y Medicine and The ERS Handbook of Paediatric Respirator y Medicine.
Following the success of the original Handbook in 2010, the new 2013 edition has been reviewed, revised and expanded. Once again, the editors Paolo Palange and Anita Simonds have put together a concise compact and easy-to read guide to each of the key areas in respiratory medicine from the structure and function of the respiratory system, to its disorders and how to treat them.
The editors of The ERS Handbook of Paediatric Respirator y Medicine, Ernst Eber and Fabio Midulla, have brought together leading clinicians to produce a thorough and easy-to-read reference tool covering the whole spectrum of paediatric respiratory disease from anatomy and development to disease, rehabilitation and treatment.
The 18 chapters in each of the Handbooks have been written by clinicians and researchers at the forefront of the f ield. Each Handbook is structured to tie in with the HERMES syllabus, making both Handbooks an essential resource for anyone interested in the field of respiratory disease or paediatric respiratory disease.
In addition, each Handbook has been accredited by the European Board for Accreditation in Pneumology (EBAP) for 18 credits. Buy your copy now and take the online CME test!
To f ind out more about The ERS Handbook of Paediatric Respirator y Medicine read the book review by Jorrit Gerritsen in this issue of Breathe on page 508.
The Handbooks are priced at €55 for ERS members and €70 for non-ERS members. Buy your copy now from the ERS Bookshop: www.ersbookshop.com
European Respiratory Monograph 62: outcomes in clinical trials
Edited by Martin Kolb and Claus F. Vogelmeier
The traditional end-points for clinical studies of lung diseases were based on functional parameters. Their value as surrogate markers for disease activity and progression has been increasingly questioned by scientists, carers, regulatory agencies and funding bodies. Novel tools and methods with regard to biomarkers and patient-reported outcomes have made these parameters emerge from their status as interesting secondary end-points and become potential primary outcomes for clinical trials. Nevertheless, their relevance and validity still needs to be proven. This issue of the European Respiratory Monograph describes the current status regarding end-points in all relevant areas of pulmonary medicine.
For more information, visit erm.ersjournals.com
A wide range of ERS books, including the Monographs, ERS Handbooks and European Lung White Book, are available online at www.ersbookshop.com
- ©ERS 2013