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Temple Hospital Bringing New Treatment For Emphysema From Overseas

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(Photo by Ed Fischer) Lynne Adkins
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By Lynne Adkins

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Local researchers are looking for patients on which to try a new treatment that may give emphysema sufferers a better quality of life.

Patients with emphysema have diseased lungs that overinflate because they don’t expel the air properly, according to Dr. Gerard Criner, chair of the department of medicine at Temple University Hospital.

“That causes them to have severe symptoms of breathlessness at rest, and worse with exertion,” he explains, “and that gas-trapping is probably what causes their greatest disability and functional limitations.”

(Dr. Gerard Criner.  Photo provided)

(Dr. Gerard Criner. Photo provided)

Dr. Criner (right) is testing a procedure used in Europe and Israel that  places metal coils around damaged portions of each lung, forcing the healthy part to work more efficiently.

“We expect to see about a 26-percent improvement in their ability to perform on a six-minute walk test,” he says. “We expect to see about a 25-percent improvement in their quality of life and a 12-percent improvement in lung function.”

Any emphysema patient over 35 years of age wishing to take part in the study should call 215-707-4821.

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