The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Immunization is not something we commonly think about in the midst of the summer heat. Usually it’s the cold bite of winter that makes us all think of vaccines and immunizations. However, this month is National Immunization Awareness Month in the United States. August has been chosen as the month to raise awareness every year to encourage parents to prepare their children for the upcoming school year.
Immunizations and School
There is no doubt about it, when the kids go back to school every Fall, there is a climb in the reported number of illness cases. Whether it be the flu or something a bit more serious like the measles, the question of why we see such an increase is easily answered by the proximity of the children in school.
Last year this topic sparked a hot debate among parents nation-wide when an outbreak started in California brought to light the controversy around immunizations.
A Controversial Topic
Some people choose not to vaccinate their children for religious or lifestyle reasons. Typically, this argument shifts from, “Well, only the kids that haven’t received the immunization will get sick,” to, “Wait a minute, the kids that get sick become incubators for new strains of the disease!”
No matter how you see this issue, the innate question at its core is, “Doesn’t everybody deserve the best chance to be healthy?” For people suffering from a lung condition like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the hope for better health is paramount with every breath.
If there were something as simple as a shot available to ward-off the debilitating effects of chronic disease, sufferers would line up for miles. As of now, the standard care for someone suffering from COPD is supplemental oxygen and a number of medications. These treatments don’t help fight the disease, they simply help manage symptoms. Although this seems a bleak state of affairs, a new treatment option has come center stage in the past few years in the form of stem cell therapy.
Stem Cell Therapy for Lung Disease
Stem cells are the body’s natural healing mechanism. Whether the issue is a cut on the finger or a debilitating lung condition, stem cells travel throughout the body to target damaged tissue and promote healing in its place. For a simple cut, that means a couple days of scabbing and maybe a little bleeding, but eventually your skin looks like new again.
Unfortunately, this is a very slow process, and for those that suffer from a disease as progressive as COPD, the cells don’t work as fast as the disease.
Stem cell therapy is designed to speed up this process through concentrating a large number of stem cells and targeting them at the lungs. This allows the cells a chance to put up an effective fight against the disease.