Medical Minute 02-16

By: Eyewitness News Email
By: Eyewitness News Email

COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States, killing as many as 120-thousand people every year. Twelve million Americans have been diagnosed with the condition, and millions more may have COPD, and don't realize it. Andrew McIntosh shows us how an antibiotic a day could help keep attacks at bay.

For sixty-one-year-old Doug Viland-nothing beats an afternoon with his granddaughter Arianna. Keeping up with a non-stop nine-year old isn't easy, though. Especially when you can't catch your breath.

Doug has been struggling for years with COPD, a serious lung disease that clogs his airways, causing a chronic cough and a lot of phlegm. Until recently, he would often suffer a sudden, severe onset of symptoms- called a flare up.

Doctor Fernando Martinez is among a group of nationwide researchers studying COPD and the effects of a common antibiotic on the condition. For one year, five-hundred- seventy trial participants took daily doses of the drug Azithromycin (ah-zith-roe-my-sin) in addition to their other COPD treatments.

The daily regimen benefits those with moderate to severe symptoms. For Doug, it made all the difference. And keep up with his granddaughter.

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