This Saturday 05 May 2018 is World PH Day – an awareness day dedicated to pulmonary hypertension (PH), a serious condition that causes high blood pressure in the blood vessels connecting the heart and lungs (the pulmonary arteries). Pulmonary hypertension is rare, affecting around 7000 people in the UK. It can affect anyone, regardless of age or ethnic background, though it appears to affect more women than men.

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To help place the spotlight on pulmonary hypertension during World PH Day 2018, a live Twitter chat will take place the day before World PH Day on Friday 04 May 2018 between 1 pm and 2 pm UK time, using the hashtag #ActOnPAH. Please share the message and invite as many people to attend – hopefully you’ll learn something new and meet new people!

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What is pulmonary hypertension?

As I’ve already said, pulmonary hypertension (PH), which is sometimes referred to a pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), is a serious condition that causes high blood pressure in the blood vessels connecting the heart and lungs (the pulmonary arteries). In a healthy cardiovascular system, the right side to the heart pumps blood into the lungs to pick up oxygen and this oxygen-rich blood is then pumped around the body by the left side of the heart. When a person develops pulmonary hypertension, the walls of the pulmonary arteries become stiff and thickened, or partially blocked as a result of blood clots. This makes it difficult for them to expand; and trying to pump blood through these tightened, narrowed or scarred arteries puts increasing strain on the right side of the heart as it tries to do its job. The essential task of pumping blood into the lungs to pick up oxygen which can then be circulated to every cell in the body becomes much harder.

Pulmonary hypertension affects people’s abilities to carry out basic tasks and get around. People with this condition often look well at rest and it’s only through a simple activity such as climbing the stairs, washing or dressing, that they may experience symptoms, such as: chest pain; swelling in the ankles, arms or stomach area; fainting; shortness of breath with exercise; and feeling tired or dizzy.

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About the Pulmonary Hypertension Association

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA UK) is the only charity in the UK dedicated to supporting those affected by pulmonary hypertension. PHA UK provides information, support and advice to people with pulmonary hypertension. It funds research, educational programmes and activities to promote better understanding, diagnosis and treatment of the disease and to raise awareness. PHA UK was established in 2000 by a small team of volunteers, including patients, family members, friends and healthcare professionals. Eighteen years later, PHA UK is now at the heart of a nationwide pulmonary hypertension community, providing a network of mutual support; and a voice for those affected by the disease.

For more information

For more information about PHA UK, please visit: http://www.phauk.org

For more information about PHA Europe, please visit: http://www.phaeurope.org

For more information about World PH day, please visit: http://worldphday.org

For more information about the PHAaware initiative, please visit: http://www.phaware.global

World PAH Day

 

Written by simonrstones

Simon R. Stones BSc (Hons) is an award-winning patient advocate, consultant and researcher from Manchester in the UK, who was the winner of the international WEGO Health Award for Patient Healthcare Collaborator in 2017. He is a passionate advocate and ambassador for people living with invisible illnesses, inspired and empowered by his own journey with juvenile arthritis, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory bowel disease since childhood. He is currently an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, a trustee of Fibromyalgia Action UK and RAiISE, and board member of the European Network for Children with Arthritis (ENCA) and the European Network of Fibromyalgia Associations (ENFA).

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