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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is treatable and can be prevented. It can greatly impact a patient’s lifestyle. The disease varies person to person and usually progresses. The two major components of COPD are inflammation and airflow limitation. Treatment and prevention of COPD is aimed at treating these.

There are four stages of COPD; Mild, Moderate, Severe and Very Severe. Signs and symptoms for all types of severity are; possible cough, sputum and dyspnea, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness and chronic cough.

Diagnosing COPD and staging is predicted by the pulmonary function test results, and also again by possible symptoms. Treatment recommendations differ between the different stages of the disease.

Treatment for COPD includes a new medication called roflumilast (Daliresp) which selectively inhibits Phosphodiesterase 4 a major AMP metabolizing enzyme in a lung tissue. The therapy goal with that rate of exacerbations improve ABG's pulmonary function tests and decrease the need for rescue medications. Also there is short and long acting inhaled beta antagonists. They are comprised of a cortiosteroid, bronchodilators and they reduce inflammation. Antibiotics can also be prescribed to reduce any increased sputum volume and dyspnea. Oxygen therapy also helps with COPD by improving breathlessness during exercise and daily living.

Application to Nursing: COPD

COPD has a dramatic impact on a patient’s lifestyle, it is preventable and treatable. Therapy treatments vary with the four stages of severity. Avoiding the risk factors for COPD and getting an influenza vaccine can help for all four of the stages. A short acting bronco-dilator can be used PRN for mild-moderate stages. Regular treatment with one or more long acting bronco-dilators can be used for moderate-very COPD. Rehab therapy is used for moderate COPD. Inhaled glucocorticosteroids are used for severe-very severe COPD. When the...
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