FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 14, 2013
For information contact:
Elizabeth C. Duncan Director of Public Relations
(208) 367-8121— Desk (208) 724-8047—Cell
Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center First in Idaho to offer
New Procedure improves quality of life in patients with severe asthma
Boise, Idaho - January 14, 2013 – Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center is proud to be the first in Idaho to offer Bronchial Thermoplasty, an outpatient treatment procedure for people suffering from severe asthma.
Bronchial Thermoplasty uses the Alair® System to mildly heat the airway walls. This heating reduces some of the extra muscle severe asthmatics have present in their airways. This helps allow the airways to stay more open and in turn makes it easier to breathe. Those over 18 years of age who have severe persistent asthma that is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long acting beta agonists are candidates for the procedure.
Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs where the airways can become smaller or narrower and made it harder to breathe. This can be caused by inflammation or swelling of the airways, bronchoconstriction and mucus production. 24.6 million Americans are currently diagnosed with asthma. Asthma attacks lead to 1.8 million emergency room visits each year and cause more than 3500 deaths annually.
“This is one of the few new treatments we have had for severe asthma during my career,” said John East, MD, Saint Alphonsus Pulmonologist. “This type of treatment can have a profound positive impact on the lives of people who suffer from the most severe forms of asthma. We are pleased to offer this life enhancing treatment to patients in Idaho.”
Studies have shown that people being treated with Bronchial Thermoplasty had fewer asthma attacks, visits to the emergency room and asthma symptoms. The patients being treated also lost on average 3 fewer days per patient from work, school, or other daily activities due to asthma symptoms. This is the first and only procedure that offers potential for the significant improvement in symptoms for all patients with severe persistent asthma.
Bronchial Thermoplasty consists of three treatments, three weeks apart. The treatment consists of a small tube called a bronchoscope being inserted through the mouth into the airway. The smaller Alair® tube is then threaded through the bronchoscope. The wires on the end of the Alair® tube touch the airway. The heat from the wires on the end of the small Alair® tube then reduce some of the airway muscle tissue.
For more information please call Saint Alphonsus Medical Group – Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine (208) 367-8333. To schedule an interview with Pulmonologist Dr. John East call Elizabeth Duncan at (208) 724-8047
About Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center
Saint Alphonsus is a 387-licensed bed regional medical center serving people throughout the Northwest. As a not-for-profit medical center, Saint Alphonsus reinvests profits back into the community and works to improve the health and well-being of those we serve by emphasizing care that is patient-centered, innovative and community based. Saint Alphonsus focuses on providing services in a spiritual, healing environment, and is renowned for its state-of-the-art digital environment and pioneering technologies; award-winning clinical services; and the region’s only Level II Trauma Center. Saint Alphonsus is part of Saint Alphonsus Health System, a four-hospital, 714-bed integrated healthcare system serving the full range of the health and wellness needs of the people in southwestern Idaho, eastern Oregon and northern Nevada. Saint Alphonsus Health System is a member of Trinity Health.
For information about Saint Alphonsus visit www.saintalphonsus.org.