Amidst the tomato, cheese, and halva stands in Jerusalem's open-air market, Machaneh Yehuda, more than 150 shoppers and vendors were screened by Hadassah Medical Center lung specialists to see if they had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
The sign, which was used to attract shoppers, read: “Are you a smoker? Come and be tested by Hadassah lung experts to see if you are in danger of COPD.” It turned out that 25 individuals showed signs of the disease.
This was the first time Hadassah physicians went out into the community to test smokers for this serious condition, rather than inviting them to come to the hospital for screening. The initiative was part of Hadassah’s way of marking World COPD Awareness Day.
The screening aims to diagnosis the disease early and assess the person’s future risk of contracting it. COPD, characterized by poor airflow and respiratory difficulties in the lungs, occurs almost exclusively in smokers. Early diagnosis of COPD can prevent the disease and its many complications, explains Prof. Neville Berkman, Director of Hadassah’s Institute of Pulmonology and head of its Adult and Invasive Pulmonology Unit. And, he says, the test and assessment together take only a few minutes!