Exhale

The official blog of the Lung Institute.

Helping Veterans Fight Lung Disease

1 May 2015
| Under COPD | Posted by
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Helping Veterans Fight Lung Disease

Could Cells Help in the Fight?

As they stormed Omaha Beach in Normandy, no one was watching over them. When they scurried across the decks of destroyers and aircraft carriers as sirens alerted of the enemy circling above, they weren’t thinking about their health. Sifting through the jungle, constantly damp and caked in mud, they didn’t know what Agent Orange was and if they did, they still would have fought. When they enlisted, they weren’t looking for a job; they were answering a call, a duty they felt required to fulfill. Unfortunately now, the veterans of WWII, the Korean War, the War in Vietnam and every military action since are seeing their health decline. Some have developed health conditions directly affected by their service while others are simply dealing with ailments that affect the civilian population as well. One of the most prominent health conditions affecting veterans are debilitating lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis.

A recent study conducted by the Veterans Administration in Cincinnati found that the prevalence of COPD among veterans is much higher than the general population. Younger veterans, those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, were regularly subjected to air pollution from burn pits, exploded IEDs and aeroallergens found in the desert region. More seasoned veterans faced chemical pollutants like Agent Orange that have contribute to their degrading lung function. Given the limited resources available to veterans, whose military pension equates to approximately 60% of the income of an average household in the specific county they live in, treatment options for incurable lung diseases have left veterans looking outside the VA for answers.

Don’t these men and women, the ones that have offered their lives and their futures for the protection of all Americans, deserve more? Don’t they deserve options, answers and a treatment that might help them get back to the life they want? The answer is an emphatic yes of course, and some veterans have found that these options may lie in cellular therapy to treat their lung disease

The Lung Institute physicians extract cells through a minimally invasive procedure, separate them and then reintroduce them to the lungs. This may quicken healing by directing the cells—and their healing properties—toward the diseased area. The result is healthier tissue growing in place of damaged tissue, and although this doesn’t cure the disease, it may slow further degeneration and has the ability to bring a normal life back within reach.

When I think of veterans, I’m reminded of my grandpa, a U.S. Navy veteran of WWII and the Korean War. As is the same with most veterans, failure was not a term he was acquainted with. However, teamwork was in his daily vocabulary because that is how they operated under fire as a team. Help does not mean that you have failed; it means that you’re not in it alone. Help is exactly what veterans deserve whether they would admit it or not. Just like my grandfather served because he found it to be his duty, I feel it is my duty to serve veterans when they come home. We can help by providing solutions to their problems, and for those struggling to breathe because of their chronic lung disease, cells may be the solution.

If you or a loved one suffers from a lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help. Contact them today at (800) 729-3065 to find out if you qualify for cellular therapy.

* Every patient is given a Patient Satisfaction Survey shortly after treatment. Responses to the 11-question survey are aggregated to determine patient satisfaction with the delivery of treatment.

^ Quality of Life Survey data measured the patient’s self-assessed quality of life and measurable quality of improvement at three months of COPD patients.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

As required by Texas state law, the Lung Institute Dallas Clinic has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from MaGil IRB, now Chesapeake IRB, which is fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP), for research protocols and procedures. The Lung Institute has implemented these IRB approved standards at all of its clinics nationwide. Approval indicates that we follow rigorous standards for ethics, quality, and protections for human research.

Each patient is different. Results may vary.