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Respiratory Medicine

What is Respiratory medicine?

Respiratory medicine is concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and continuing care of patients with a wide range of more than 30 respiratory and related conditions.

Respiratory diseases kill one in five people more than ischaemic heart disease. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) kills about 25,000 people a year in England and Wales. Recent figures showed that COPD accounted for 4.8 percent of all deaths in England between 2007 and 2009. It is the fifth biggest killer disease in the UK.

There are around 835,000 people currently diagnosed with COPD in the UK and an estimated 2,200,000 people with COPD who remain undiagnosed. There are over 38,000 new cases of lung cancer in the UK each year, this is now the leading cause of cancer death in women and there is an expected increase in incidence of mesothelioma.

Additionally, there has been a rise in the number of obese patients which has lead to an increased incidence of obstructive sleep apnoea. Respiratory conditions are the most commonly reported long-term illness, up to one in five adults consult a GP for a respiratory complaint annually and respiratory disease is the second most common illness responsible for emergency hospital admission, with cases of COPD taking up more than one million bed days in England alone.

Respiratory disease areas include:

  • Airways diseases
  • Sleep-disordered breathing
  • Diffuse parenchymal lung disease (DPLD) and systemic diseases that affect the lung
  • Pleural conditions
  • Occupational lung disease
  • Allergic lung and bronchial disorders
  • Infection
  • Critical care and lung failure
  • Pulmonary vascular diseases
  • Lung cancer and mesothelioma
  • Genetic and developmental lung disorders
  • End of life care for malignant and non-malignant lung conditions.

Our Respiratory Medicine Department

Our services are provided on an inpatient and outpatient basis. The Trust has a dedicated 33 bedded respiratory ward (Oxborough) and access to acute non-invasive ventilation (NIV). Bronchoscopies are carried out on site in the endoscopy unit and the team has access to ultrasound for pleural procedures. Pleural investigations are carried out in one-stop pleural clinics as well as general chest clinics.

Outpatient clinics

Outpatient clinics are held for the following:

  • Lung cancer
  • COPD
  • Asthma and other small airways conditions
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Pulmonary fibrosis and other interstitial lung diseases, e.g. sarcoidosis, asbestosis, lung disease and allergic alveolitis
  • Pleural diseases
  • Tuberculosis
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Hyperventilation syndrome
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Pneumothorax
  • Chronic cough
  • Breathlessness
  • Non cardiac chest pain of unclear cause
  • Conditions causing an abnormal chest x-ray rather than cancer
  • Respiratory failure
  • Screening for sleep apnoea
  • Oxygen assessment via the Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust employed Oxygen Specialist Nurse

Procedures that can be performed at the time of an outpatient appointment include:

  • Portable spirometry if indicated
  • Pulse oxymetry
  • Pulse
  • Blood pressure
  • BMI

Our specialist teamRespiratory Clinic

Our team has a multi-disciplinary approach and has long worked as a team with Consultants, career-grade doctors, doctors in training, COPD, Oxygen and Lung Cancer Nurse Specialists, ward-based and outpatient nurses, and other allied healthcare professionals committed to providing high-quality patient care

The consultants in our team are:

  • Dr A Arya
  • Dr S Durairaj
  • Dr A Pawlowicz
  • Dr Elradi

Contact details for respiratory medicine

Our consultants contact details can be found on our Consultants directory page.

Useful web links

The following websites may contain information that is of use to you: