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The early signs are subtle: shortness of breath, fatigue, and in some cases blue lips or fingertips. All are signs of Pulmonary Hypertension, a rare but serious condition that’s being treated by specialists at Singing River Health System. Clinicians and staff this week worked to raise awareness of PH by hosting “Blue Lips” events at their facilities, complete with blue lipstick and blue popsicles to mark the occasion with fun photos that bring attention to this condition which many don’t know exists.
Dr. Ijlal Babar heads up the system’s Regional Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic in Ocean Springs, the only one of its kind on the Coast. He and his team treat hundreds of patients from across the region. “While there is no cure for Pulmonary Hypertension, there are effective treatments and therapies, and we customize those for each patient,” says Dr. Babar, a board certified pulmonologist.
Pulmonary Hypertension causes the body’s arteries to become narrowed, limiting blood flow to the right side of the heart, increasing the work load on the heart and decreasing oxygen to the rest of the body. Both oral and inhaled medications can be administered, along with continuous therapy via infusion pumps. Most patients also require supplemental oxygen therapy and other treatments to help with daily activity and easier breathing.
Dr. Babar and his team at the Regional Hypertension Clinic can help assess patients who suspect that they may have the condition. They can be reached at 228-872-1951. More information about Pulmonary Hypertension and the clinic is available on the Singing River Health System website at httpss://www.singingriverhealthsystem.com/services/pulmonary/hypertension-center/.