AUSTIN, TEXAS — October is Healthy Lung Month, and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) is urging patients to take precautions against the list of growing threats to lung health — from COVID-19 and flu to vaping and wildfires.
“Our lungs do more than allow us to breathe. They enable every other organ in our body to function,” said AANP President Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP. “As we continue to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for the 2020 flu season, parts of the country are dealing with the compounded respiratory threats of smoke-producing wildfires and flood-related mold issues. With so many patients potentially at risk for respiratory illness this year, AANP is urging all people to protect their lungs and avoid spreading respiratory viruses like the flu and COVID-19.”
AANP recommends patients take the following actions to protect the health of their lungs:
“Patients need to understand that their respiratory health is at higher risk this fall, but there are steps they can take to protect themselves,” said Thomas. “NPs can be valuable partners in helping patients take control of their lung health and overall care — but it starts with wearing a mask in public, getting a flu vaccine, eliminating bad habits, reducing needless exposure to poor air quality and consulting with your health care provider if you’re symptomatic. Let’s do everything possible to protect our lungs and our health.”
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of the more than 290,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state, and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education, and research; and establishing standards that best serve NPs' patients and other health care consumers. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered health care. To locate an NP in your community, visit npfinder.com. For more information about NPs, visit aanp.org. For COVID-19 information from AANP, visit aanp.org/COVID19.