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Helping patients breathe easier

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VOL: 98, ISSUE: 26, PAGE NO: 47

Eileen Shepherd, RGN, DipN

On a recent twilight shift I nursed George, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was extremely breathless and very frightened. He struggled to get comfortable and we spent most of the shift moving him into an upright position. He found it difficult to tolerate his oxygen mask and had a very dry mouth. His breathing problems made it difficult for him to speak clearly, drink and stand up to pass urine. George presented us with many challenges that we had to manage simultaneously, and it was clear that he needed to be cared for by experienced and knowledgeable nurses.

On a recent twilight shift I nursed George, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was extremely breathless and very frightened. He struggled to get comfortable and we spent most of the shift moving him into an upright position. He found it difficult to tolerate his oxygen mask and had a very dry mouth. His breathing problems made it difficult for him to speak clearly, drink and stand up to pass urine. George presented us with many challenges that we had to manage simultaneously, and it was clear that he needed to be cared for by experienced and knowledgeable nurses.

Patients with respiratory problems present in all specialties - in fact, they account for one in four acute hospital admissions (British Thoracic Society, 2001), and it is therefore essential that all nurses are aware of current developments in this specialty.

As the new editor of NTplus Respiratory Care I am delighted to work in partnership with the Association of Respiratory nurses to bring you the most up-to-date information to help improve the care of patients with respiratory problems.

We also value your opinion and welcome contributions from readers, case studies, review articles and original research as well as your comments and suggestions. If you feel that you are doing something new or interesting, let us know about it, as NTplus Respiratory Care is essential reading for all nurses.

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