Lisa, what is COPD?
The CDC states that 50% of all United State adults have a respiratory disease called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)? Did you know that every 4 minutes someone dies from COPD? That is almost 120,000 adults each year. Over 12 million people have been diagnosed with COPD and it is approximated that there is an additional 12 million who have it and do not know it. The United States estimated total cost of COPD treatments in 2010 was $2.1 trillion dollars.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a catch all term that includes the diseases of emphysema, asthma (exercise induced, allergies, and intrinsic or non-allergy triggers), and chronic bronchitis. These diseases cause the airflow to be blocked in the lungs and cause breathing-related problems. COPD can be caused from respiratory infections, genetic factors, and exposure to air pollutants in the workplace and home. Tobacco smoke is the number one cause of COPD.
The symptoms of COPD are:
· Coughing that is constant, nicknamed “smoker’s cough”.
· Shortness of breath preventing usual activities because it is too hard to breathe.
· Sputum in excess of normal.
· Unable to take a full and deep breath.
How to prevent COPD:
· Do not smoke or stop smoking.
· Avoid irritants to the lungs (dust, fumes, poor air quality, and cigarette smoke).
· Vaccinations. Flu and pneumonia shots help decrease risk of COPD symptoms.
· Regular visits with your Nurse Practitioner to manage COPD symptoms.
The direct cost of treating COPD can be from $43,461 to $76,159 per person. Nurse Practitioners may treat symptoms of COPD by prescribing medications that opens up the air passages in the lungs, enabling easier breathing. Medications called bronchodilators can be used when any symptoms of COPD appear. Emergency bronchodilators called inhalers or puffers should not be used more than twice a week. Long term bronchodilators are used daily with chronic COPD. Severe COPD symptoms may need more than one bronchodilator, oxygen use, and assistance with daily activities. Call a Nurse Practitioner to help manage your COPD symptoms and preventative health care needs.
Mission Statement: "Couturing individual patient's/client's