FIGHT: A 501C3 NON-PROFIT
Giving Californian firefighters and first responders the medical surveillance they deserve!
California is being hit by wildfires like never before and the forecast for the next years looks grim. Thousands of brave women and men are risking everything to protect residents’ lives and family homes. The health effects of repeated, intense wildfire exposure are largely unknown but evidence in the 9/11 aftermath, increasingly shows that the consequences of exposure to particulate matter are quite severe.
We at FiGHT feel strongly that firefighters deserve state-of-the-art medical surveillance. We started working with clinical centers and organizations across the state to establish a program to screen firefighters - free of charge - for lung diseases. Early detection is the key to better treatment outcomes and a sustained healthy life.
While working through the arduous process of reimbursement, we are launching a crowdfunding charity initiative to give the firefighters the medical surveillance they deserve right now! The funds raised will be used for setting up a large-scale research initiative implementing state-of-the-art medical technology to screen firefighters. Data collected will provide valuable insights and a better understanding of the effects of wildfire exposure and smoke inhalation with the aim of detecting diseases early on and developing more effective treatment options.
FUNCTIONAL RESPIRATORY IMAGING
When aerospace engineering, biomedical imaging and artificial intelligence come together.
Fluidda is the world leader in the field of imaging in pulmonology, by means of the development of their Functional Respiratory Imaging technology, which combines aerospace engineering (computational fluid dynamics) and biomedical imaging techniques. Fluidda's proprietary FRI technology offers healthcare providers regional insights into the lungs of patients with any lung disorder. With applications in both clinical practice and drug development, FRI is set to become a new standard tool in pulmonology. Recently FRI has been combined with artificial intelligence algorithms, with incredible sensitivity in both early-stage disease detection and prediction of disease progression. These developments enable an overall earlier and more patient-specific treatment, allowing for better clinical outcomes. Recently, Fluidda has been mentioned in Nature and Forbes, for revolutionizing respiratory care.
① Assess firefighters with (mild) respiratory complaints using Functional Respiratory Imaging (FRI)
Clinical centers throughout California will be engaged to clinically assess firefighters with a history of respiratory complaints. Currently, the pulmonology departments of some of the most renowned clinical centers of California have offered to be part of this charity project.
An FRI analysis will reveal the stage and heterogeneity of their condition and will reveal early signs of lung diseases typically associated with firefighters  and toxic smoke inhalation in general, including:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)
② Use existing clinical FRI evidence described in papers to assist in optimal treatment
Following treatments have been studied  with FRI revealing their mode of action allowing for optimal patient-treatment matching (personalized medicine):
Bronchodilators (LABA, LAMA, SAMA, SABA)
Anti-inflammatory drugs (PDE4, nAC, ICS, PI3K, IL13, CrTH2)
Medical devices (valves, coils, NIV, IPV, mucolytic)
③ Track enrolled firefighters for 1 year including additional FRI assessment after intense exposure
Enrolled firefighters will be tracked including vital signs monitoring (wearables, sensors,…).
Another FRI assessment will be performed for enrolled firefighters either after a period of intense exposure (eg wildfire season) or during an exacerbation.
The effect of acute exposure, including the level of heterogeneity, on regional lung structure and function will be assessed to further optimize treatment selection.
④ Use environmental data to assess the exposure in the lung to pm 2.5 and 10
FRI can determine the regional exposure inside the lungs of inhaled (toxic) particles.
Environment maps are available depicting PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations which can be used as input parameters for the exposure analyses.
NASA | Campfire. Paradise, California, November 2018
NASA | Camp Fire, Paradise CA, November 2018
SMOKE EXPOSURE FIREFIGHTERS 9/11
The pitfalls of current pulmonology
We interviewed Dr. Michael Weiden, who is a professor at NYU in pulmonary medicine and environmental medicine, and focused most of his research on the effects of smoke exposure on the lungs of firefighters involved in the 9/11 drama. Professor Weiden explains us current medical practice standards in pulmonology, i.e. spirometry, and the problems associated with it for patient-specific diagnosis and treatment.
FLUIDDA & FIGHT
The possibilities of medical imaging
We interviewed Jan De Backer, CEO and founder of FLUIDDA on the technology developed by his company, it's use in the medical space and the possibilities for early-stage, patient-specific diagnosis and treatments, especially for firefighters.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
We are currently looking for ambassadors for our charity. In order to create a largely scaled awareness, we are looking for people who feel affinity for this charity event. If you think you could help us out in one way or another, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling in the contact form below.
We appreciate your help!
JOIN THE FIGHT
 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30214185 (ICS/LABA)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25734630 (INHALED ANTIBIOTICS)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22135493 (SABA & SAMA)