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Gabriel Weston: Sing a song of lung health

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l120 (Published 14 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l120
  1. Gabriel Weston, ENT surgeon
  1. Surrey
  1. gabriel.weston{at}nhs.net

Just before Christmas I visited an inspiring class at the Royal Brompton Hospital. Set up 10 years ago, Singing for Breathing offers an alternative to usual lung rehabilitation for people with chronic lung disease. Although many conditions are represented, most participants have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—no great surprise when it’s currently ranked by the World Health Organization as the fourth biggest cause of death in the developed world, affecting 3.7 million people in the UK.

In one sense, the suffering associated with respiratory disease is special. Breathlessness is something uniquely terrifying, often likened by patients to …

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