Patients, caregivers, family members and friends should mark Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month, observed each November to bring attention to this complex, chronic and progressive disorder.
Awareness and education are essential to increase the recognition, diagnosis, understanding and management of pulmonary hypertension (PH), a disease associated with high blood pressure in the blood vessels supplying the lungs.
Awareness month activities and events aim to raise awareness among legislators, industry representatives, health professionals and public authorities, as well as the general public.
The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA), the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization dedicated to PH, presents a multitude of ways supporters can get involved. This year’s theme is “Preparing for the future day by day”.
“The PHA and the broader pulmonary hypertension community have made great strides over the years in raising awareness of this disease,” PHA Board Chairman Tony Lahnston said in a statement. Press. “We are continuing on this trajectory and face a bright future with better support, diagnosis and treatment of PH through education, expanded resources and dedicated research. PHA staff and management remain committed to PHA’s mission to extend and improve the lives of people affected by PH.
PHA has again created an interactive online PH Awareness Month calendar that will reveal a fact or tool each day that can help raise awareness of the disorder. PH is underdiagnosed in part because common symptoms — shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue, for example — can mimic those of other conditions.
Some information in the calendar will cover these symptoms as well as risk factors, in addition to the different types of PH. The disease can occur in people with, for example, left heart disease, as well as associated conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep apnea and scleroderma. People with congenital heart disease may also be at risk.
According to an outline emailed to Pulmonary Hypertension News, the schedule will include the release of seven session recordings of the international conference and PHA 2022 Scientific Sessions from June 9-12, held in Atlanta. The biennial conference provided information on PH research, treatment and disease management, as well as networking events and support group meetings.
The calendar will also feature social media shareable graphics, social media posts, posters and flyers highlighting facts about PH. There will be information and resources on the following days to support various awareness month events:
- November 9: For Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH) Awareness Day, the organization is separately offering a toolkit that includes sample social media posts, graphics, videos, a brochure, flyer and other mediums. CTEPH is a form of pulmonary hypertension caused by blood clots that block the arteries in the lungs.
- November 15: At 2 p.m. EST, there will be a live PHA webinar titled “2022 Focus on Pulmonary Hypertension Research,” in which PH experts will share research advances from the PHA 2022 conference and their potential impact on patients.
- November 17: The day of advocacy action, which focuses on oxygen access reform, will include a petition from the American Lung Association asking Congress to change policies to ensure that anyone who needs supplemental oxygen can get it. For more information, see the PHA Advocacy Action Center.
- November 29: Giving Tuesday is an invitation to join World Giving Day to support PH patients and contribute to PHA’s mission.
PH Awareness Month participants are encouraged to share calendar items with family, friends, the media, elected officials and the general public so they can learn more about risk factors, symptoms and diagnosis of PH.
The organization also offers an Awareness Month Toolkit featuring social media graphics, posts, and cover and profile photos, in addition to downloadable fact sheets, a customizable press release, email signature, and fundraising advice.
PHA Canada marks the month
Elsewhere, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association of Canada (PHA Canada) is marking Awareness Month by encouraging patients to share their stories with the media, co-workers or community groups, or by contributing to the ‘organization Connections Magazine.
“If you or a loved one has been affected by pulmonary hypertension, you know that lack of awareness is one of our biggest challenges,” the organization states on an Awareness Month webpage. “But by coming together to raise awareness, each of us can do our part to educate healthcare professionals, family members, friends and the wider community about the challenges of living with pulmonary hypertension.”
PHA Canada’s “Sometimes It’s PH” campaign aims to increase awareness of PH among healthcare providers by encouraging them to refer patients suspected of having PH to a referral center. Specialized HTP for diagnosis and treatment options. The campaign covers pulmonary hypertension symptoms and risk factors such as gender, age, family history, pregnancy, associated conditions, altitude, obesity and certain types of medications, including cancer chemotherapy.
The organization also provides, upon request, assistance and tools for the awareness month such as educational materials, a banner or a table display, assistance with the design and printing of event leaflets, the distributing event flyers to area community members and promoting events. It also offers fundraising assistance, fact sheets and educational videos on public health.
“If people affected by PH don’t tell others about it, no one will,” said PHA Canada. “Education leads to earlier diagnosis and better access to effective treatment. By raising your voice, you can help us shine a spotlight on this disease and get everyone, from doctors to politicians, to notice it.