FORT SMITH, Ark. (Feb. 4, 2019) – A new treatment available at Baptist Health-Fort Smith offers hope for many residents in the River Valley who suffer from life-threatening lung diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.


Arturo Meade, M.D., an interventional pulmonologist at Baptist Health Lung Center-Fort Smith, was recently trained to perform a new non-surgical procedure to treat severe emphysema.


The valve, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December, is a small, umbrella-shaped one-way device that is placed inside of airway of the lung. It is used to redirect air from the less healthy to the healthier parts of the lung, which improves overall lung function.


“Roughly 80 percent of the patients we see in the clinic suffer from COPD,” Dr. Meade said. “This procedure could greatly improve the quality of life for patients who qualify for the procedure.”


Tobacco use is the primary cause of COPD in the United States, but air pollutants at home and work can also cause the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Statistics from the CDC show Arkansas and Oklahoma were among the states with the highest death rates related to COPD in the agency’s most recent survey.


Dr. Meade and his team will now begin evaluating more patients for the new valve procedure. For more information about treatment options call Baptist Health Lung Center-Fort Smith at (479) 709-7433.


About Baptist Health: Baptist Health is an Arkansas-based, locally owned and managed, not-for-profit, and faith-based health-care organization. Baptist Health is also Arkansas’ most comprehensive health-care organization with more than 200 access points and approximately 11,000 employees operating 11 hospitals. For more information about Baptist Health, visit baptist-health.com or call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.