- Chronic means persistent.
- Bronchitis is inflammation of the bronchi (the airways of the lungs).
- Emphysema is damage to the smaller airways and air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs.
- Pulmonary means 'affecting the lungs'.
The sudden risk caused by COPD is due to the increase in people who smoke and the demographic changes in many countries. In the US, COPD is considered as the fourth leading cause of death. In economic terms the cost of the disease to the US economy in 2007 is pegged at $42.6 billion in terms of health care costs and loss in productivity.
The symptoms of COPD include: constant cough; excess sputum (mucus) production; shortness of breath while doing activities you used to be able to do; wheezing, or whistling sound when you breathe; and tightness in the chest.
The most common symptoms of COPD are breathlessness, or a 'need for air', excessive sputum production, and a chronic cough. However, COPD is not just simply a "smoker's cough", but a under-diagnosed, life threatening lung disease that may progressively lead to death.
The loss of lung function in COPD patients is so gradual that many patients do not realize that they have the condition until it is severe. By the time most patients seek medical attention, they may have lost 50% of their pulmonary function.
There is a need for greater awareness of COPD and early diagnosis and treatment can retard progression of disease and improve quality of life. A person who has COPD should adopt a number of strategies in order to manage and to combat this lung disease. Some of these important strategies include saying no to smoking, vaccinations, rehabilitation and drug therapy. Drug therapies can be done thru the use of inhalers.
The inhalers that are suggested help dilate the airways and the theophylline. Most of the time, the inhaled steroids can be used to contain lung inflammation and can suppress flare-ups. Usually antibiotics are also used during the flare-ups of the symptoms of COPD.
10 NANDA - Nursing Diagnosis for COPD Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Ineffective airway clearance
- Ineffective breathing pattern
- Impaired gas exchange
- Activity intolerance
- Imbalanced Nutrition: less than body requirements
- Disturbed sleep pattern
- Bathing / Hygiene Self-care deficit
- Ineffective individual coping
- Deficient Knowledge