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UAE Health


UAE: Doctors stress on multidisciplinary care for lung problems

Kids, elderly, who are especially vulnerable, need closer attention

Vigilant monitoring of young and elderly patients suffering from cough, wheezing and other respiratory issues is critical, say doctors.
Image Credit: Pixabay

Abu Dhabi: A silo approach may not be adequate to address unique respiratory challenges faced by children and the elderly, health experts have said.

Instead, they have emphasised on the need for broader multidisciplinary care strategies for both paediatric and senior populations, which are deemed vulnerable groups.

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Children often encounter respiratory issues such as asthma, viral wheezing, and more serious conditions like cystic fibrosis (CF), which require vigilant monitoring and management. Seniors, on the other hand, frequently deal with diseases related to age-related decline such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia, the experts pointed out at a recent seminar in Abu Dhabi.

Both demographics benefit from approaches that focus on prevention, early detection, and tailor-made treatment plans to optimise their respiratory health.

Dr Andrew Ives, Consultant Paediatric Pulmonologist at Danat Al Emarat Women and Children’s Hospital in Abu Dhabi, part of the M42 group, stressed the importance of early diagnosis in managing cystic fibrosis, particularly through sweat testing, which is considered the gold standard for CF diagnosis.

Dr Andrew Ives

“Accurate diagnosis paves the way for effective treatment, including the use of innovative modulator drugs that have transformed the landscape of cystic fibrosis care,” said Dr Ives. He underscored the comprehensive care required by CF patients, involving a team of healthcare professionals from various disciplines to ensure holistic treatment and support.

Conversely, Dr Nuwan Karunaratne,Consultant Geriatrician at Mubadala Health Dubai, also part of the M42 group, addressed the respiratory challenges faced by the elderly.

He highlighted the common symptoms that lead seniors to seek medical advice, such as persistent cough and shortness of breath.

Dr Nuwan Karunaratne

Dr Karunaratne advocated preventive measures such as quitting smoking and maintaining an active lifestyle to help preserve lung function and prevent further complications.

The seminar also covered the critical role of modern medical tools and practices, such as the use of CPAP and BiPAP machines for managing conditions like sleep apnea, and the significance of remote monitoring devices that provide real-time data on patients’ vital signs.