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UC Health Seeks Patients For Lung Valve Trial

Updated: Friday, July 26 2013, 12:42 PM EDT
A photographer from Northern Kentucky is helping to raise awareness of a common lung condition that makes it hard to breath.
He's doing that because researchers at the University of Cincinnati are looking for people to help test a breakthrough treatment for it.
Medical Reporter Liz Bonis has details in today's medical edge.

These are just a few of the pictures Dennis French takes each year.
Photography is his hobby and it keeps him pretty active.

It also helps him manage a diagnosis he got from his doctor several years ago.

"He said I had emphysema."

As this animation, courtesy of Spiration Incorporated shows, emphysema is a lung condition which makes it hard to breath.

To manage it, French quit smoking.
He's also adapted a healthier lifestyle.

Dennis French, Patient:
"Normally, I sleep with oxygen, I don't usually need it during the day, normally I get half mile to mile walk in, that helps keep the weight down."

 French also follows up regularly with Doctor Sadia Benzaquen.
 He's a specialist in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine who helps people manage emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diesease or c-o-p-d.
 He says, normally people with these conditions are former smokers who develop a chronic cough and shortness of breath, eventually.

Dr. Sadia Benzaquen, University of Cincinnati:
"They can breath in relief, but it's hard for them to breath out, that makes their lungs hyper inflate."

So, Benzaquen team is the first of 20 in the country now testing a breakthrough treatment to help treat this problem.

It's a tiny valve that is placed in the airway and, as this graphic shows, re-directs air to the healthier parts of the lungs.

So, rather than hyper-inflating...

"What we are trying with this trial is to deflate the lungs."

"Part of the goal is to manage these symptoms and the disease, COPD or emphysema in those long term, as we know people live for a long time now with things, such as high blood pressure or diabetes,  and this would give us an option, with these conditions, much in the same way."

Dennis French hasn't needed this treatment yet, but is glad testing is in the works.

For now, he's staying active, breathing in the beauty of life through every picture that he takes.    

For more information on this trial, you can call 513-558-2187.

The trial is free.

You do not need medical insurance to participate.
UC Health Seeks Patients For Lung Valve Trial

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