Sci207: Vocational Issues with Copd

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Social Implications for Patient’s with COPD

SCI207: Social Implications of Medical Issues

August 1, 2011

Social Implications for Patient’s with COPD
Mr. L., a 55-year-old bartender in a large metropolitan area, has been a heavy smoker for 40 years. He was diagnosed as having COPD 7 years ago. Mr. L. lives in the city and takes the city bus to work, although he still has to walk about three blocks to the bar where he works. He has found it increasingly difficult to walk the three blocks without stopping to rest at frequent intervals. At work, his manager has also expressed concern about the effect Mr. L.’s continuous coughing has on customers. (p. 440).

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), smoking is the leading cause of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and it is considered one of the most common lung diseases known. “COPD is a diagnostic term used to describe a group of conditions that are characterized by respiratory symptoms such as dyspnea (shortness of breath), cough, sputum production, limitation of air flow, and chronic inflammation of the lungs.” (Falvo, 2008, p. 420). Often, people have both. On the flip side, there are also the rare cases of nonsmokers who lack a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin that can develop into emphysema. The longer a person smokes, the likelihood of developing COPD is high but there are some who are exceptionally fortunate who do not contract this disease as a result of routine, long term smoking. This paper will examine the causes, the symptoms and complications and what the social implications of having COPD that can affect an individual in an adverse way using the above case study as the example.

It is known that Mr. L. began smoking at fifteen years of age. At age 48, he was diagnosed with COPD yet still continues to smoke. Let us assume that Mr. L. has had a nice physique given to him from good genetics rather than regular visits to the gym. Let us also...
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