Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Management

According to Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (2011), the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a respiratory illness associated with progressive difficulties in gaseous exchange. The airflow impediments are often associated with the destruction of lung parenchyma. COPD is composed of diseases such as asthma and emphysema. At an advanced stage, COPD may also lead to severe chronic bronchitis. COPD is among the top ten diseases that cause human death in the world.

COPD prevalence varies greatly because most of its symptoms are hard to diagnose. However, keen health care physicians tend to note its key symptoms. Individuals suffering from dyspnea, chronic cough, or continuous sputum production provide an excellent platform for diagnosing COPD. Additionally, it is easy to diagnose COPD in individuals who have been abusing drugs such as cigarettes for a long period. However, COPD symptoms tend to be clear with an increase in age (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, 2011). With spirometry performance, health care physicians manage to observe some key indicators associated with a diagnosis of COPD. For instance, spirometry aids health care workers in identifying the presence or absence of a postbronchodilator that determines the COPD status of a patient. COPD has also been found to impact a patient’s lifestyle; it leads to most patients having difficulties in carrying out simple roles such as carrying a handbag. In extreme conditions, most COPD patients produce wheezing sounds when breathing in and out. Additionally, some people may experience extreme breathlessness that may lead to fainting.

Once COPD has been identified, it is crucial for amicable management to be implemented to lessen its severity and minimize future risks posed by the disease. This should be done with much caution to avoid the emergence of side effects. For instance, it is advisable for COPD victims to use bronchodilators in managing their health status. In extreme conditions, it is advisable for COPD patients to be administered with corticosteroids. Phosphodiesterase-4 has also been found to play a significant role in reducing patient’s exacerbations. Thus, it is crucial for COPD patients to use phosphodiesterase-4 in managing chronic bronchitis.

Unlike other types of diseases, COPD causes are very clear, and they can be prevented. Most causes of COPD are associated with inhalation of cigarette smoke, dust from burning coals, and occupational chemical gases. Thus, avoidance of smoking contributes to prevention of COPD. Exposure to dust and chemical gas have also been associated with emergence of COPD (Calverley, 1995). Thus, it is vital for an individual’s to observe appropriate clothing and aim at minimizing the exposure to dust and chemicals as a COPD infection prevention measure.

Raising awareness on COPD plays a significant role in reducing the occurrence of COPD, but it is not enough. Thus, it is crucial for health care physicians to take part in identifying people at risk of contracting COPD, and those in advanced stages. Through audience identification, health care physicians will manage to control the behavioral activities of patients by informing them the essence of lung’s health. In approaching the disease, it is also crucial for the health care workers to segment their audience according to severity and potentiality (Blackler and Jones, 2007). The management and occurrence control of COPD will be enhanced through this method through better analysis and treatment of the affected patients.

John, a 50-year old man was identified with COPD 6 years ago. His status was pathetic; he coughed and produced sputum strenuously. He also presented a worsening dyspnoea. On examination, his BP was 130/82 mmHG and pulse rate 102. Additionally, his body temperature was 37.7 ºC and respiratory rate 18. Examination of his chest proved that he was producing a wheezing sound when breathing in and out. Spirometry check conducted on him also proved that he had post-bronchodilator FEV1. John was smoking over nine cigarettes a day even after receiving some pieces of advice from his friends. He has tried to stop smoking but in vain.

Diagnosis symptoms portrayed by John

Just as COPD patients, John coughed and produced sputum strenuously. John had also a worsening dyspnoea, a condition that demarcates COPD disease from other types of diseases. The production of wheezing sound by John’ chest is also a clear indication of COPD illness by the patient. Additionally, the spirometry check conducted on John proved that he had traces of post-bronchodilator FEV1.

Appropriate treatment and management options for John

COPD is not treatable, but it can be prevented and control through the management of the disease. Thus, the use of effective therapy will aid in controlling symptoms, reducing risks of developing complications and exacerbations. It can also lead to improvement of John’s life. John needs to avoid smoking at all costs as this helps to prevent further exposure of cigarette smoke on the patient. This can be made possible by aid of a doctor who can provide him with medications such as bronchodilators, inhaled steroids, oral steroids, combined inhalers, antibiotics, and phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors. Additionally, the doctor may also provide him with nicotine replacement products to reduce his urge to smoke and help him quit smoking. It will also be advisable for John to avoid all types of gases that catalyze the advancement of COPD.

In conclusion, despite COPD being untreatable, the control and management of the disease through augmented healthcare aids in improving the patient’s status. It has been associated with causation of unconsciousness among cigarette abusers. It has been found to cause heat imbalance, difficulties in breathing, and wheezing sound when breathing in and out. In order to reduce the advancement of COPD, patients are advised to observe safety measures such as avoidance of smoking cigarettes and attendance to medical appointments.


Blackler, L., Jones, C., & Mooney, C. (2007). Managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Chichester, England: J. Wiley & Sons.

Calverley, P. M. A., & Pride, N. B. (1995). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. London: Chapman & Hall.

Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. (2011). At-a-glance outpatient management reference for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Web.

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