Maury Regional Medical Center offers free screenings for COPD


COLUMBIA, Tenn. — Free screenings for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) will be offered by Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) on Saturday, June 2. Screenings will take place in the William R. Walter Educational Conference Center inside the medical center’s Annex at 1223 Trotwood Avenue, across from MRMC. Screenings will follow a brief presentation by Pulmonologist Maura Lipp, M.D., at 10 a.m.

COPD refers to a group of diseases that affect the lungs and make it difficult to breathe. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two main conditions associated with COPD. According to the American Lung Association, COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

“COPD is a chronic disease that gets worse over a period of time, causing shortness of breath and making normal daily activities increasingly difficult,” said Dr. Lipp. “Early detection of COPD may help to minimize damage to the lungs and allow patients to work with their physician to identify medication and therapies that can help them to breathe easier.”

Symptoms of COPD can include a chronic cough, shortness of breath, frequent respiratory infections, blueness of the lips or nails, fatigue and wheezing. Risk factors for COPD include:

  • Current or previous tobacco use
  • Exposure to air pollutants
  • Respiratory infections
  • Genetic factors, including Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD)

Among the free screenings to be offered on June 2 is the Alpha-1 test, a finger-stick blood sample used to screen for AATD. Fasting is not required before the screening. Other screening tests will include pulse oximetry to measure the body’s oxygen saturation and spirometry, a simple breathing test.

“We encourage those who currently smoke or have smoked in the past to attend this free screening, as well as those with a family history of COPD and anyone who may have had long-term exposure to wood smoke, chemicals or second-hand smoke,” said MRMC Respiratory Care Director Christy Wright.

Dr. Lipp will present a brief overview of COPD at 10 a.m. with the screenings immediately to follow. The screenings are free and open to the public. Registration is not required. For more information, call 931.381.1111, extension 1347 or click here.

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