Unique, practical knowledge for nurses responsible for daily management of patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related conditions.

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Monday, 01 June 2009
Bless you for your support and best wishes for my fifth London Marathon that took place in late April. My chosen charities this year (Arrhythmia Alliance, www.arrhythmiaalliance.org.uk and Stars, http://stars.org.uk) are special for me as I have had a pacemaker for ten years. It was a surprise to be informed that I would have a new box fitted just three weeks before the Marathon. However those of you who know me would know that would not stop my attempt! But there are times when even I have to admit defeat! After completing over half the course in two hours, I decided to let my heart rule my head for once and bail out gracefully before I collapsed from heat exhaustion! When I was overtaken by a large carrot I knew it was going to be a real struggle!
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
Was it me? Did I blink and miss the spring? There I was, trying to plan my early initiation of inhaled steroids and nasal sprays to ward off seasonal exacerbations of allergic rhinitis and asthma but spring just doesn’t seem to have sprung this year! It made me wonder whether the wet weather had an influence on hay fever levels.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
You may have thought you were safe from dire warnings about global warming in the pages of BJPCN. But hayfever is one of the themes of this issue and the mild winter has meant that some people suffered symptoms much earlier than usual as pollens which can trigger allergic reactions were found in the air as early as January.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
What a winter we have had! Many children have seen heavy snow fall for the first time and London was completely immobilised due to the weather. At the same time our hospitals have been battling to cope with patients suffering with respiratory infections and exacerbations of their COPD. GP practices have been stretched to the limit to cope with the additional burden of coughs and colds. Building capacity is a real problem for everyone working in the health service and patients’ demands and expectations continue to grow.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the term used to describe a range of chronic chest conditions, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD is characterised by permanent damage to the lungs and as the condition develops, people experience increasing breathlessness, to the point where even everyday activities such as getting dressed or walking up stairs become difficult. This article describes the impact of COPD, explores the value of exercise in COPD management and discusses possible reasons for its widespread under-use as effective symptom control.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
Milk, eggs and peanuts are the most common foods causing allergy in early childhood. The prevalence of these allergies is on the increase. A thorough clinical history together with an allergy test allows for a clear diagnosis and implementation of a comprehensive management plan. This article outlines some of the key features in diagnosing and managing childhood allergies.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
Asthma medications should routinely be delivered by a pressurised metered dose inhaler (pMDI) and spacer system, with a facemask where necessary, in children under five, according to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).1 For older children, aged 5-15 years, NICE has advised that a child’s therapeutic needs, the ability to develop and maintain an effective technique, the suitability of a device for the child’s and carer’s lifestyles (ie portability and convenience) and the likelihood of good compliance are the factors that should govern the choice of device.2 Only once these factors have been taken into account, should choice be made on the basis of cost minimisation.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
As mentioned in the last issue (BJPCN Sept 2008), anxiety is a significant and distressing problem for patients with respiratory disease. Anxiety is more common in respiratory disease than in cancer, heart failure or other chronic medical conditions (Kvaal et al 2001). The previous article gave a background to anxiety and highlighted that practice nurses are in an ideal position to screen for anxiety and to provide appropriate support and basic treatment. This article focuses on the management of anxiety using cognitive behavioural therapy skills and techniques.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
Children with a cough commonly present to practice nurses. All children cough and often cough repeatedly, with the majority of episodes associated with self-limiting viral infections for which there are no effective treatments. Coughing can be highly distressing for the child and their family members, and can have a significant impact on a child’s sleep, play and performance in school. Although cough may often be related to diagnosis of asthma, this is by no means the only cause. The British Thoracic Society recently published guidelines for the assessment and management of cough in children up to 12 years of age without known lung disease. Practice nurses and their GP colleagues will find these new guidelines valuable for diagnosis and management of cough. This article summarises the main recommendations.
Category: Editorial

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