A new Pulmonary Fibrosis support group has been established to help those with the condition. The group will meet at Wigton hospital on a monthly basis.

Sara Mason, Senior Oxygen Nurse and Team Lead at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC), said:

“Pulmonary Fibrosis is a lung disease in which the lungs become scarred and breathing becomes increasingly difficult. It can be hard to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to other lung conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

“It isn’t clear what causes it but it usually affects people who are around 70-75 years old and is rare in people under 50. Several treatments can help reduce the rate at which the condition worsens but currently there is no treatment that can stop or reverse scarring of the lungs.”

Symptoms can include: shortness of breath, a persistent dry cough, tiredness, loss of appetite and weight loss, rounded and swollen fingers. Many people ignore their breathlessness at first and blame it on getting old or being out of shape, but eventually even light activity such as getting dressed can cause shortness of breath. The condition can become in worse in the winter months.

Sara continued:

“The aim of the group is to provide support for people diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and other lung diseases in an environment where people can learn about their condition, share ideas with other people with the same condition and gain mutual support to facilitate a better quality of life. The group welcomes patients and their family or carers. It will be an informal session, where there will be a talk or presentation and an opportunity to chat with others.”

The group will be held on the last Friday of the month; the next session will be on 24th June. The meetings will be held at 2pm-4pm, in the Oxygen Unit at Wigton Hospital but is available for anyone in north Cumbria to attend. You can also attend the by zoom by contacting Sara, on 016973 66601 for details.

There is no need to be referred, you can turn up or contact the team for zoom details. There will be a £2 subscription which will include refreshments and biscuits.

A member of the group said “The group will give us the opportunity to learn more about living with Interstitial lung disease (ILD) by providing information on accessing more specialised health care and other professionals and by sharing our own experiences with each other.”

If anyone would like further information you can contact Sara on 016973 66601.

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