Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency for Nurse Practitioners

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Now through December 20, 2022

Activity Description:
Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1) is a common genetic disease that is underrecognized, underdiagnosed and often misdiagnosed as COPD or asthma. It can cause liver and lung disease. The liver makes a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin that goes into the bloodstream. This protein protects the lungs and allows them to work normally. If there is not enough alpha-1 antitrypsin, it is called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. Although Alpha-1 is one of the most common genetic life-threatening diseases worldwide, with an incidence comparable to that of cystic fibrosis, it remains underrecognized and undertreated and therefore continues to pose a significant health threat. According to the Alpha-1 Foundation, it is estimated that 1 in every 2,500 Americans have Alpha-1 yet less than 10% have been diagnosed. This exemplifies a significant healthcare knowledge gap. Many nurses have suboptimal knowledge/awareness of this genetic disorder and easily misdiagnose it for asthma or COPD, leading to an increased risk of patient mortality. This on-demand accredited activity intends to close knowledge gaps by increasing awareness regarding Alpha-1, which is paramount to increasing the number of identified carriers, provide strategies for diagnosing and treating these patients, therefore preventing further damage to improve patient outcomes and prolong their life span.

Target Audience:
This educational initiative is designed for general practice nurses and nurse practitioners.

Educational Objectives
After this educational activity, you should be able to:

  • Recognize the different clinical manifestations of Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
  • Improve your understanding of the disease and the genetic background of the disorder
  • Examine the data supporting augmentation therapy and how to manage these patients
  • List the nurse’s role in overcoming nonadherence using communication techniques that may positively impact patient compliance
  • Apply the use of key teaching strategies when educating patients newly diagnosed with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

Presenter: James Stoller, MD, MS. Dr. Stoller is a scientific consultant for 23andMe, Grifols, Takeda, Insmed, inhibRX, Vertex, CSL Behring, and Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals. He has received research funding from CSL Behring and serves on the Board of Directors of the Alpha-1 Foundation.

Nurse Planner: Christina Eagan, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC has no relevant financial information to disclose.

Peer Reviewer: Jorge Lascano, MD has no relevant financial information to disclose.

Alpha-1 Foundation staff, Michelle Owens, RN, and EXCEL staff have no relevant financial information to disclose.

Instructions for Obtaining Credit
Once you have completed the activity, please click the "Continue" button to advance to the post-activity assessment. To complete this activity and claim credit, you must answer 3 out of the 4 questions correctly. If you are not successful after your first attempt, you will be given an opportunity to reflect upon the answer rationales and can once again review the educational content before proceeding. Once you have selected your answers, click the "submit" button to complete the evaluation questions and proceed to the claim credit screen.

ANCC Accreditation Information
The Maryland Nurses Association is an accredited approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

This educational initiative is supported by an educational grant from
Alpha-1 Foundation