Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
(COPD) is a term that is used to describe ongoing lung obstruction. Some
diseases that are under COPD include emphysema, refractory asthma, and chronic
bronchitis. These diseases can destroy the air cells in the lungs and cause
problems with the air flowing throughout the lungs. This condition is
illustrated by the patient loosing his or her breath and coughing so much
because it is very difficult for him/her to breath. Symptoms of COPD include
the production of sputum, coughing, and severe difficultly in breathing.
According to the World Health Organization, the 4th leading cause of
death worldwide in 2006 was from COPD.
most important risk factor for COPD is smoking cigarettes. When a person smokes
cigarettes, their lungs become inflamed, causing less oxygen to reach their
lungs and difficulty for the patient to breath. The use of pipes, cigar, and
ant tobacco products is a risk factor for COPD since it will cause the lungs to
become inflamed. Other risk factors are being around chemicals and dust
particles at work, lung infections that are recurrent, and low birth weight.
The patient should be protected at the workplace if he/she works outside with
these toxic particles by wearing a mask over their face.
is described as chronic inflammation of the lung tissues and airways. Since the
inflammation causes decreased oxygen flow to the tissues (hypoxia), the patient
will experience breathing problems, which causes them to cough and have mucus
production. Symptoms from the different lung diseases include barrel chest,
cyanosis, and clubbing. Since the airways are already inflamed, there is no
cure to the disease. There are only ways to help the symptoms so the disease
does not cause any complications. If the person continues to be near these
irritants, they will become fatigue and it can be very dangerous. Since they
are working so hard to breath and get oxygen in their lungs, they might one day
be unable to get oxygen which will result in death.
There are many different classes of
medications are used to alleviate the symptoms, but they have not been proven
to reduce the long-term weakening of the lungs functions. To alleviate the
symptoms, the patients may be given beta-adrenergic agonists, anticholinergics,
corticosteroids, or methylxanthines. The purpose of these medications is to
dilate the bronchioles to relieve bronchospasm, reduce obstruction in the
airways, and to improve the alveolar ventilation. Oxygen delivery is also
considered a prescription therapy that might help the patient since the patient
is lacking oxygen because his/her lungs are inflamed. In advanced COPD, oxygen
delivery for more than 15 hours a day has been shown to increase the quality of
life and endurance.
the patient is getting discharged, the patient and family members should be
educated on how to relieve the symptoms and manage the patients breathing
issue. Some ways to educate the patient and family members is by telling them
to avoid drastic weather changes and extreme temperatures of hot and cold.
Another way is by avoiding environmental and occupational nuisances such as
chemicals and dust particles. They should also be taught how to use the
respiratory devices and how to correctly use the oxygen delivery systems.
I have a patient who has history
of COPD due to long-term smoking for 25 years. As pharmacotherapy, she has been
prescribed albuterol 2.5mg and ipratropium bromide. During discharge, the
patient and family members were educated on smoking cessation and how to manage
characterized as the patient having a hard time breathing that cannot be
reversed. Once the patient starts smoking, their lungs become inflamed and it
becomes hard for oxygen to reach the lungs. There are several ways to relieve
the symptoms such as oxygen delivery and medications. The patient and family
members should be educated on avoiding irritants and tobacco products that can
deteriorate the patients breathing.