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Exeter Pulmonary Fibrosis Group blow bubbles for World IPF Week


Exeter Pulmonary Fibrosis Group blow bubbles for World IPF Week


The Exeter Pulmonary Fibrosis Group have been blowing bubbles to show their support for this years’ World IPF Week (28th Sept – 5th Oct).  The support group, who meet regularly at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, are aiming to raise awareness of the chronic and progressive lung condition Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).

IPF is a disease that causes a gradual scarring of the lungs. It is becoming increasingly common, and now kills over 5,000 people a year. However, awareness remains low, and there is no known cause or cure. As a result, the disease acts with often-devastating speed: barely half of people diagnosed with IPF are still alive three years later, and just one in five will survive five years.

Blowing bubbles may seem like a simple thing to do when you have healthy lungs, but for a patient with IPF, this activity could be very challenging. People are being encouraged to share their photos of bubble blowing on social media using #IPFWeek in support of the IPF Week ‘Breath of Hope’ campaign.

IPF patient Gillian Morgan attended the group for the first time this week. She said: “I’d never heard of IPF before I was diagnosed last November. Of course, I should really have gone to the doctor the year before. I had had a persistent cough for a year before I did anything. I think more should be made of raising awareness of it.” 

The Exeter Pulmonary Fibrosis Group offers advice and support for patients and relatives affected by pulmonary fibrosis.  The group is facilitated by Respiratory Consultant Dr Michael Gibbons and Respiratory Nurse Specialist/British Lung Foundation Nurse Sarah Lines. During their October meeting they enjoyed a talk by Mike Bray, Chair of Trustees, from Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis about the work of the charity.  

Respiratory Nurse Specialist/British Lung Foundation Nurse Sarah Lines said: “Raising awareness of Pulmonary Fibrosis is important as earlier diagnosis may help with future treatment. In the meantime, many patients and/or their carers gain support from this group through each other and the informed presentations that we arrange relating to their condition and the problems they face.”

The RD&E’s Respiratory Team have recently worked with the British Lung Foundation (BLF) to organise a ‘Health Care Professional Study Day’ at Sandy Park in November. The event, which this year focuses upon IPF, will be an opportunity for clinicians to update their knowledge and share best practice, with several staff members from the RD&E taking part in the presentations.   


To find out more about IPF, visit

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