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Monday, January 21, 2013
  Clinical Accuracy Spoken Here  

COPD: A Progressive Disease

COPD is typically a progressive disease and even with the best care, lung function can be expected to worsen over time. Continual monitoring of symptoms and measurement of airflow limitation should be implemented to:

  • Watch for development of complications
  • Determine when to adjust therapy

As COPD progresses, visits to health care facilities and providers will increase in frequency. Ongoing monitoring and assessment of the patient ensures the goals of treatment are being met.

[Reference: Revised COPD Course, Module B, Assessment and Management]
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  Excellence in Case Mgmt  

COPD: Ask the Same
Questions at Every Visit

The best way to detect changes in COPD symptoms and overall health status is to ask the same questions at each encounter.

Every visit should include evaluation of:

  • Exposure to risk factors, especially tobacco smoke
  • Disease progression and development of complications
  • Pharmacotherapy and other medical treatment
  • Exacerbation history
  • Co-morbidities

[Reference: Revised COPD course, Module B, Assessment and Management]
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  Improving Patient Care...  

COPD: Airway Inflammation

Airway inflammation plays a central role in the pathophysiology of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Patients who develop COPD seem to lose their normal, protective inflammatory response in exchange for an exaggerated, harmful one.

It is known that cigarette smoking activates the inflammatory response in the lungs of smokers even without a diagnosis of COPD. Smoking is a damaging process which may be a factor in oxidative stress. Increased oxidative stress which occurs in the lungs and systemically in COPD plays a role in the pathogenic mechanisms seen in COPD.

[Reference: COPD, Module A, Pathophysiology]
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