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2014-01-24 14:44:51
Jamaica Hospital the Only Hospital in NYC Offering Latest Procedure to Treat Severe Asthma in Adults
For Immediate Release
Michael Hinck, Director, Public Affairs
(718) 206-8739
mhinck@jhmc.org

Idan Sims, Sims & Associates, Inc.
(917) 940-7876 /(212) 725-3838
idan@simsinc.com

Bronchial thermoplasty, a recently FDA-approved, minimally invasive procedure to treat asthma, enables individuals living with the disease a unique way to manage their condition. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is the only hospital in New York City to offer bronchial thermoplasty, the first nondrug treatment for severe asthma.

“Bronchial thermoplasty is unique. It is the first time asthma is being treated in a physical way,” said Dr. Craig Thurm, Director of Jamaica Hospital’s Division of Pulmonary Medicine. “Previously, patients with severe asthma could only rely on medications such as high dose inhaled steroids, bronchodilators and xolair.”

Asthma, a disease that affects the lungs, commonly causes persistent shortness of breath, a need to sit or stand up to breathe more easily, wheezing, a chest that feels closed, and the inability to speak in full sentences.
When triggered, severe asthma causes the airways in the lungs to narrow, leading to the onset of an asthma attack. Bronchial thermoplasty uses thermal energy to permanently heat and shrink thickened muscle that surrounds a patient’s airways.

Living with asthma can have a devastating impact on one’s life. From sleeping through the night to walking to the bus stop to exercising, asthma can make even the simplest tasks difficult.

According to the Center for Disease Control, one in 12 people have asthma. There were 1.3 million asthma-related hospital visits to outpatient departments and 1.8 million emergency department visits for asthma in 2010 in the United States. Though asthma can usually be controlled by taking medications and avoiding triggers, such as mold, tobacco smoke, dust mites, and outdoor air pollution, these interventions may not work for individuals with severe asthma.

Bronchial thermoplasty involves an electrode array that is put in contact with the airway wall. Once in position, radio frequency energy is released and heats the wall of a portion of the airway in a controlled manner.

“The procedure comprises three different sessions, scheduled three weeks apart. The first and second sessions treat the lower lobes of lungs, while the third session treats the upper lobes,” said Dr. Thurm. “Bronchial thermoplasty is offered to individuals with severe asthma, who are at least 18 years old and whose asthma is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long acting beta agonists, such as Advair, Dulera, and Symbicort, despite using them as instructed,” he added.

“While bronchial thermoplasty is not likely to cure asthma,” said Dr. Thurm, “it works as a complement to other asthma therapies.”

“Studies have shown that bronchial thermoplasty can reduce asthma symptoms and asthma attacks, as well as emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and days lost from work and school,” he said.

“There is a high incidence of severe asthma cases in the communities served by Jamaica Hospital,” said Dr. Thurm. “We are truly excited to offer bronchial thermoplasty to patients who can benefit from it.”

For more information about bronchial thermoplasty at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-8776 or 718-206-7130.
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