Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Living Health And Social Care Essay

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ( COPD ) is a disease of many known and unknown etiologies that affect the respiratory system and interrupt the normal architecture of the lung. Mechanical procedures that one time made take a breathing so effortless for the patient, forces them to fight for the most nominal sums of O to transport on minimum vital activities. A critical demand for research and patterned advance toward an ultimate remedy is necessary owing to the huge public wellness load that COPD has levied onto the public. Patients that have been diagnosed with COPD suffer needlessly. Healthcare for this disease procedure is adversely affected by the deficiency of support needed to farther research and continues to be debatable despite rampant smoking surcease attempts. “ Unfortunately, research advancement in this field has been slow. Most basic scientific research over the past 35 old ages has focused on the pathogenetic functions of coffin nail fume, redness, and protease/antiprotease balance ” ( National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, 2001 ) . Harmonizing to this research, research workers in Europe have used mice to place a common biomarker protein, the antioxidant sestrin, which is thought to trip molecules in the lungs linked to the critical alterations seen with COPD. By suppressing this protein, scientists believe that they can rush the rapid debasement of the elastic fibres in the lung. In theory, the suppression of sestrin will let the patient equal enlargement of the lung Fieldss that is reduced in the typical COPD patient. What are the other specifying features of COPD?

COPD: Content of Diagnosis


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a group of chronic and progressive respiratory upsets that are characterized by an airway obstructor with small or no reversibility. Damage to the lungs continues to do take a breathing bit by bit more hard over clip. Two clinical conditions frequently associated under the diagnosing of COPD are chronic bronchitis and emphysema, which obstruct or limit airflow into the lung Fieldss.

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Chronic bronchitis is the presence of chronic productive cough for three months in each of two back-to-back old ages in a patient in whom other causes of chronic cough have been excluded. Emphysema is an unnatural lasting expansion of the air spaces distal to the terminal bronchioles, accompanied by devastation of their walls and without obvious fibrosis ( Lewis, S. , Heitkemper, M. , Dirksen, S. , O’Brien, P. , & A ; Bucher, L. , 2007, p. 629 ) .

Most patients diagnosed with COPD suffer from both pathological conditions, but manifestations can change significantly from patient to patient. These disease procedures affect the bronchial tube, bronchioles and lung parenchyma with predomination on distal air passages. Harmonizing to Medline Plus, airways within the lungs subdivision in the lung Fieldss like an inverted tree. Near the terminal of each subdivision are little, balloon-like air pouch. These air pouch, or air sac, are usually elastic in nature and fill like little balloons with inspiration and typically besides deflate upon halitus. In a patient with COPD the air passage and air sacs lose their form and snap, going flaccid and overextended, much like an overused gum elastic set ( “ Medline Plus: COPD, ” n.d ) .

COPD is a turning wellness job non merely in the United States, but besides worldwide. “ In 2005, about one in 20 deceases in the United States had COPD as the implicit in cause. Smoking is estimated to be responsible for at least 75 % of COPD deceases ” ( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008 ) . The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) besides estimates that over 119,000 deceases, 726,000 hospitalizations, and 1.5 million infirmary exigency section visits are caused by COPD yearly. Harmonizing to the World Health Organization ( WHO ) ( 2007 ) , the most recent surveies revealed that “ 210 million people have COPD and three million died of COPD in 2005. WHO besides predicts that COPD will go the 3rd prima cause of decease worldwide by 2030 ” ( World Health Organization, 2009 ) . Currently COPD is ranked as the 6th taking cause of decease. With statistics this rampant, what is the exact cause of COPD?


There are several causes of COPD. Of all possible inhaled pollutants, coffin nail smoke is the primary hazard factor thought to lend to COPD. Patients with a history of smoking a battalion per twenty-four hours, over 40 old ages, are particularly prognostic of COPD development. Exposure to passive coffin nail smoke, air pollution, occupational jeopardies such as dust or mulct atoms ( coal or silicon oxide dust, asbestos ) and childhood respiratory upsets such as terrible viral pneumonia can besides lend to the development of COPD. The aged, patients with a low organic structure weight and clients with a history of intoxicant maltreatment are besides susceptible.

Prognosis of COPD is extremely dependent upon the grade to which the patients external respiration is affected and the ability to pull off dyspnoea, the ability of the bosom to oxygenize other organic structure systems, and predominately how damaged the lungs are upon diagnosing and if they are able to go on to oxygenize the blood without trouble. Early diagnosing of COPD can assist place predisposing factors ; such as smoke, and assist supply a better forecast through smoking surcease, deep external respiration exercisings to assist guarantee that the disease does non come on. A late diagnosing that has affected the patient ‘s ability to perfuse critical variety meats can ensue in organ failure on multiple degrees and forecast can be really inexorable. Further rating may be needed to find the full extent of harm from deficiency of tissue perfusion.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease can be a consequence of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. An expansion and battalion of mucose secretory organs are produced with chronic bronchitis, ensuing in an increased mucose production and a characteristic cough. Apart from the sum of mucose produced ; the quality of the mucose besides becomes more syrupy in nature, doing it harder for the patient to throw out. Accumulation of extra mucous secretion causes airway obstructor in the peripheral air passage and hence an addition in airway opposition. Lymphocytes, neutrophils and macrophages besides accumulate which can take to fibrosis or a formation of extra hempen connective tissue in the lung Fieldss as an effort to mend the country.

Emphysema consequences in big portion from an expansion of air spaces distal to terminal bronchioles. The loss of snap of the lung tissue and the closing of little air passages is due to the devastation of the alveolar walls. When the connective tissue is destroyed in the alveolar walls, peptidase is released, farther destroying elastin and suppressing the ability of the air sac to flinch. Protease affects structural unity of alveolar wall. In a healthy person, the ability of the air sac to flinch aids to keep the patency of the airway lms, particularly during termination.

With COPD, there is airflow restriction due to loss of alveolar fond regards, inflammatory obstructor of air passages and obstructor of the terminal subdivisions with mucous secretion. Airways get down to contract due to the redness, ensuing in a loss of elastic kick and loss of alveolar fond regards. Ciliary map in COPD is besides abnormally impeded. Cilia in the air passage wall usually acts as a force to assist thrust mucous secretion or other foreign organic structures toward the windpipe for ejection from the organic structure. This map is frequently impeded by the midst and house mucous secretion frequently seen with chronic bronchitis. Lack of ciliary map increases the hazard of perennial infections in the lungs due to accretion of these foreign atoms within the lung Fieldss. Destruction of the air sac and profuse mucose accretion destroys the ability of the organic structure to present O, ensuing in hypoxia. The patient agony from COPD frequently struggles to take a breath and hypoxic-related dyspnoea systemically affects other countries of the organic structure frequently prima to pneumonic high blood pressure and bosom jobs such as bosom onslaughts and right-sided bosom failure. Patients with COPD are more prone to respiratory infections, lung malignant neoplastic disease and depression. Signs and symptoms of COPD normally do non happen until important harm to the lungs and other organic structure systems have occurred.

Signs and Symptoms:

Patients with COPD normally present with marks and symptoms of both emphysema and chronic bronchitis to include a uninterrupted hacking-type cough, thick mucous secretion production which is frequently difficult to clear out and important shortness of breath that presents peculiarly with exercising or effort. Clients may besides kick of trouble kiping with changeless weariness and an abrupt, unplanned weight loss. Patients typically besides present with rapid external respiration, barrel-like dilatation to chest and will sit “ frequently in a tripod place, tilting frontward with weaponries braced against their articulatio genuss, chair, or bed. This gives them purchase so that their rectus abdominus, intercostals, and accessary cervix musculuss all can help in termination ” ( Jarvis, C. , 2008, p. 449 ) . Cyanosis of the tegument, clubbing of distal phalanx, respiratory infection, wheezing and chest stringency may be other marks and symptoms noted in the COPD patient. Patients with COPD can besides see aggravations, which are periods or episodes where the patients COPD symptoms can all of a sudden decline. Aggravations can be caused by grippe, infections or effort. Other lending factors include a rapid alteration in humidness or temperature, exposure to smoke or other pollutants, allergens and dust. Harmonizing to American Thoracic Society, COPD can be broken down into four assorted phases to include:

Phase I: mild COPD: Characterized by mild airflow restriction predicted. Symptoms of chronic cough and sputum production may be present, but non ever. At this phase, the person is normally incognizant that his or her lung map is unnatural.

Phase II: moderate COPD: Characterized by declining airflow restriction with shortness of breath typically developing on effort, with a productive cough. This is the phase at which patients typically seek medical attending because of chronic respiratory symptoms or an aggravation of their disease.

Phase Three: terrible COPD: Characterized by farther deterioration of airflow restriction, patient experiences an even greater grade of shortness of breath, reduced exercising capacity, weariness, and repeated aggravations that about ever have an impact on patients ‘ quality of life.

Phase Four: really terrible COPD: Characterized by terrible airflow restriction with the presence of chronic respiratory failure. Respiratory failure may besides take to effects on the bosom such as cor pulmonale ( right bosom failure ) . At this phase, quality of life is really appreciably impaired and aggravations may be life endangering. ( American Thoracic Society, 2004 ) .

With the changing manifestations in the patterned advance of the disease, suppliers must take into history the assorted challenges and medical intercessions necessary in the intervention of COPD.

COPD: Medical Interventions

Diet Plan: Needs and Alterations:

Persons with COPD have overall muscular failing, including the respiratory musculuss, that relates to systemic inflammatory procedure in the lungs. Diet is an of import factor to take into consideration, particularly in the aged because the hazard for malnutrition additions. COPD and malnutrition go manus in manus, “ malnutrition and a low BMI of & lt ; 20kg/m may be found in up to 30 % of patients with advanced COPD and stand for an independent hazard factor for increased mortality and hospitalization ” ( Nazir & A ; Erbland, 2009, p. 823 ) .

Persons who are scraggy have an implicit in job that relates to hypermetabolism and katabolism. In these persons it is best to modify their feeding wonts, with frequent interruptions to diminish weariness. It takes a batch of energy to metabolise nutrient, “ external respiration and eating become harder, [ the single ] may hold to take between taking a pant of air or a bite of nutrient ” ( O’Neill, 2004, parity. 3 ) . For those who are overweight, the job as it relates to COPD is due to extra abdominal fat. Abdominal fat prevents the stop from spread outing wholly, which causes a lessening in O ingestion. This lessening in O, compromises the cardiovascular system, because there is an unequal sum of O being delivered to the bosom and throughout the organic structure.

Both malnourished and corpulent persons need to supervise weight, nutrient and unstable intake day-to-day. Food consumption should dwell of saccharides, fats, protein, and K. Harmonizing to the American Lung Association “ metamorphosis of each requires a different sum of O and produces a different sum of C dioxide. Metamorphosis of saccharides produces the most carbon dioxide for the sum of O used ; metamorphosis of fat produces the least ” ( “ American Lung Association Fighting for Air ” , 2010, parity. 3 ) . Good beginnings of fat should come from unsaturated fats such as nuts, olive oil, soy and alligator pear. Protein is indispensable for musculus fix, and aid in the healing procedure when an infection or hurt occurs. Good beginnings of protein come from tuna, salmon, skim milk ( whole milk thickens mucose ) , and eggs. Potassium is “ cardinal to command blood force per unit area, musculus contraction, and nervus urges transmittal. Normal serum K degrees help with optimum musculus contraction to help external respiration ” ( O’Neill, 2004, parity. 15 ) . Good beginnings of K come from green leafy veggies, fruits, and athleticss drinks.

Meals should be consumed while sitting unsloped and spaced out throughout the twenty-four hours in 4-6 little helpings. This will forestall the tummy from spread outing against the stop, which hinders take a breathing. To increase energy preservation during a repast, the person is advised to devour “ soft, easy-to-chew nutrients to forestall him from going short of breathe while eating ” ( O’Neill, 2004, parity. 17 ) . Besides, ingestion of fluids should be 8 cups per twenty-four hours, such as H2O and athleticss drinks, to forestall desiccation.

Appropriate Medicines and Diagnosis:

Although there is contention over the sum of O to give a patient with COPD, it is understood that long term usage of “ oxygen therapy improves survival, exercising capacity, cognitive public presentation, and slumber ” ( Lewis, et al. , p. 640 ) . There are assorted ways that oxygen therapy can be administered to a patient with COPD. In infirmaries most precise bringing of O therapy is thought the usage of the Venturi mask. The disadvantage of utilizing this mask is that the patient may experience like they are smothering, and executing day-to-day activities may go hard related to the equipment. On the other manus, most patients prefer to utilize the rhinal cannula. Not merely does it present a low sum of O which is needed for patients with COPD, the patient can execute day-to-day activities such as feeding and speaking. When O therapy is used in concurrence with smoking surcease, it improves the patient ‘s quality of life vastly, by diminishing vasoconstriction of the lungs and increasing perfusion.

Depending on the badness of COPD, bronchodilators such as beta2-antagonist, anticholinergic, and methylxanthine will be given to loosen up the smooth musculuss of the air passage, and to increase gas exchange. These medicines can be taken as inspirations or by the unwritten path. For those sing moderate-to-severe COPD, glucocorticoid therapy may be combined with a bronchodilator to diminish redness of the air passages. Inhaled glucocorticoids are preferred over unwritten glucocorticoids for long term intervention, because unwritten interventions can take to adrenal inadequacy and Cushing ‘s syndrome. ( See Appendix A )

Diagnostic Trials and Lab Work:

Pneumonic maps trial measures the consumption and end product of air in the lungs and is used to corroborate the diagnosing of COPD. There are “ four constituents to pneumonic map testing, [ which consist of ] : spirometry, postbronchodilator spirometry, lung volumes, and diffusion capacity ” ( “ Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Diagnosis ” , 2010, parity. 3 ) . Besides, there are many diagnostic surveies that support the diagnosing of COPD, such as X raies, arterial blood gases, alpha-1-antitrypsin degree, ECG and echocardiogram.

X raies are non the preferable method of naming COPD since it can non pick up abnormalcies until COPD is in the ulterior phases, such as over hyperbolic air pouch known as blister. Arterial blood gases are performed to supervise the sum of O and C dioxide in the blood. In persons with COPD “ typical findings are low PaCO2, elevated PaCO2, decreased or low-normal pH, and increased hydrogen carbonate ( HCo3- ) degrees ” ( Lewis, Heitkemper, Dirksen, O’Brian, & A ; Bucher, 2007, p. 638 ) . Some instances of COPD are related to a familial upset, which amendss the lower lungs. This upset is caused by an unnatural alpha-1-antitrypsin concentration. Blood trials are done to verify this abnormalcy. COPD can do right sided bosom failure related to pneumonic high blood pressure and must be monitored on a regular basis by ECG and echocardiogram.

As discussed earlier, alterations in the lungs are related to smoke, toxins in the environment or business. In order to place the causative effects of these toxin, clinical tests are being conducted to development new diagnostic trials that are aimed at identify early neoplastic alterations in the lung. For illustration, advanced imaging techniques such as the PET scan is able to uncover “ metabolically active nodule [ that are ] extremely declarative of malignance ” ( Petty & A ; Miller, n.d. p. 7 ) , that could non be found with anterior diagnostic trials. Besides, a tissue autofluorescence, which is an enhanced bronchoscopy technique, “ can bespeak a high likeliness of malignance ” ( Petty & A ; Miller, p. 7 ) in the lung tissue, that can non be seen in a CT scan or chest X ray. Hopefully, these clinical surveies as they become available to the general population, will non merely place neoplastic alterations in the lungs earlier, but besides assist in happening a remedy for lung diseases.

Treatment and Treatment Options:

Medicines can do COPD a more comfy, but there is no overall healing intervention. The disease itself “ extends beyond the air passages and lungs to include other organic structure systems, ” ( Barnett, 2008, p. 30 ) . The end in intervention is aimed at the commanding the symptoms involved in these assorted countries of the organic structure and to cut down the inflammatory response in the lungs. To make this, the patient will necessitate to modify their diet and lifestyle wonts such as smoke in order to protract their life.

As discussed earlier, emphysema and bronchitis constitute the disease known as COPD. The direction and intervention of these two disease procedure is necessary for the patient to populate a quality life. The medical interventions used to handle COPD was reviewed before, there are besides non-pharmacological intervention options available that slow the patterned advance of the disease and the symptoms of chronic clogging pneumonic disease. The non-pharmacological interventions are pneumonic rehabilitation, energy conserving techniques, and immunisations.

Pneumonic rehabilitation is used to “ interrupt the barbarous rhythm of increasing inaction, shortness of breath and physical de-condition, and bettering exercising capacity and functional position every bit good as bettering single patient ‘s self-management accomplishments ” ( Barnett, 2008, p. 31 ) . Pneumonic rehabilitation is conducted by physical therapist and respiratory nurses. Each session is based on the patient exercising tolerance and consists of one to two Sessionss a hebdomad for about an hr, for 6-8 hebdomad, so backed up with a “ educational constituent to enable to the patient to do lifestyle alterations to assist them get by better with populating with COPD ” ( Barnett, p. 31 ) . For the pneumonic benefits to last, the patient must go on exerting after the plan is over with. Not merely does this better the patient ‘s quality of life, it diminishes the sum of times the patient must travel to the infirmary.

Frequently COPD patients struggle to take a breath. There are assorted energy preservation techniques that a patient can utilize to better the quality of available O. The overall end of the following techniques is to assist the patient breath better and to better activities of day-to-day life by alleviating the distressing symptoms that accompany COPD. Harmonizing to the Journal of Community Nursing ( 2008 ) , these techniques are:

Exhale during strenuous portion of an activity and usage pursed lips to cut down to work of take a breathing

Alter strenuous activities with easier undertakings

Topographic point points within easy range, to cut down bending and stretching for points

If needed, use AIDSs and equipment such as electronic wheel chairs

Sit down to execute many of the day-to-day activities

With a healthy person, a normal remainder of stale air remains in the lung. With the COPD patient, the residuary volume of maintained air is increased and decreases oxygen exchange. With these techniques emphasis is minimized on the patients necessitating less effort. The patient can besides expire more stale air with termination and inhale and inhale even greater sums of concentrated O with each new breathe. The efficiency of O and C dioxide exchange is improved.

Everyone should be updated on immunisations, even more so if a patient has COPD. The two immunisations that are of of import to have are grippe, which is given yearly and pneumococcal, which is normally given one time. If the patient becomes infected with grippe or pneumonia, harm to the lungs Fieldss can be exacerbated if non treated rapidly and can perchance take to decease.

COPD: Holistic Assessment of Patient


Mr. Johnson is a 73 twelvemonth old male who has presented to the Emergency Department for the 3rd clip this hebdomad with dyspnoea. Patient has been smoking a lower limit of one battalion per twenty-four hours for the past 46 old ages. Patient is presently on two litres of auxiliary O at place via rhinal cannula and provinces that he can non look to catch his breath. Mr. Johnson is tilting over the side of the bed in tripod place, panting with supraclavicular abjurations noted on inspiration. As a nurse, what do you believe could be incorrect with your patient?

Physical Appraisal

Upon farther rating, the nurse notices that Mr. Johnson besides has a non-productive hacking-type cough that has persisted throughout the triage procedure. Mr. Johnson complains, “ I merely can non look to acquire this midst mucus up out of my pharynx and I feel like I am smothering, like I can non catch my breath! ” Patient appears to be poising himself over the side of the chair in a tripod place. The nurse is a waiting for the supplier to topographic point orders in the computing machine for the client ‘s chest X ray. A venturi mask is placed on the patient O bringing is set to be administered over three litres of O per proceedingss. This intercession successfully alleviates the patient ‘s rapid and shallow respirations, every bit good as the circumoralcyanosis. Upon auscultation the nurse notices diminished lung sounds over the left and right lower lung Fieldss with auditory wheezing upon halitus. The nurse besides notices a barrel-like dilatation to the patient ‘s thorax and a profile mark of the distal phalanx. The nurse begins to take the patient to radiology and suddenly stops as the patient begins to cry inconsolably.

Psychosocial Appraisal:

To do an accurate appraisal of the patient ‘s psychological procedure, the nurse casually begins to ask about the patient ‘s day-to-day activities. The patient divulges to the nurse that he has lost his occupation, is no longer able to care for himself and experience a sense of guilt that he has become burdensome on his household members. Patient provinces, “ I have a loving household, but feel as though they would be better off without me. I know I should n’t experience this manner, but I have been depressed and experiencing lonely for some clip now. ” The nurse recognizes that the patient is exposing marks of depression, low self-pride and deficiency of liberty with loss of control over his personal life. The precedence nursing intercessions for this patient should include a referral to assist the patient meet the psychological strains with designated community wellness resources. The patient so covers his face and susurrations in a soft undertone, “ I can non even afford to pay for my food markets, much less this visit! How can I afford this referral? ”

Socioeconomic Appraisal:

Mr. Johnson is one of many faces covering with the strains and fiscal adversity associated with COPD. The overall costs of COPD are overpowering. Harmonizing to the American Lung Association, the “ one-year cost to the state for COPD ( emphysema and bronchitis ) is about $ 32.1 billion, including health care outgos of $ 18.0 billion and indirect costs of $ 14.1 billion ” ( Harvard University: Healthcare delivery- Deconstructing the costs, ” 2008 ) . The planetary statistics are even more dumbfounding. Harmonizing to the American College of Chest Physicians ( 2003 ) , the mean COPD patient costs the planetary economic system $ 1,484.00 per twelvemonth for mild instances, $ 1,760.00 in typical instances and $ 2, 911.00 in terrible instances affecting the disease. With these statistics in head, what are some of the instruction points that a nurse can use to help the COPD patient?

Health Teaching and Community Resources:

The nurse must take in assorted considerations when helping the COPD patient. How good is the patient able to digest activity? Does the patient suffer from dyspnoea related perturbation in their slumber form? What are the patient ‘s physical or fiscal resources? A patient that has a difficult clip meeting monthly public-service corporation measures is far less likely to be compliant with a medical government. The nurse should concentrate on seeking to organize societal work service to assist the patient to run into healthcare demands. If the patient has a household member, how does this impact his or her function if they are primary strain victor in the household? Interview should indicate out any psychological stressors that may be impacting the patient and should find if therapy may be required.

Primary instruction should concentrate on converting the patient to discontinue smoke. Inform the patient to maintain up to day of the month on immunisations such as one-year grippe and pneumonia vaccinums. Patient should compliantly take prescribed medicines and avoid second-hand fume or exposure to other thorns such as dust, smog, utmost heat or cold and high heights, pollutants that can worsen symptoms. COPD patients must increase unstable consumption to diminish viscousness of mucose secernments in add-on to keeping an equal nutritionary position to ease excess nutritionary demands. Diets should be low in concentrated fat and should include assorted fruits, veggies and whole grains. Highly stress to the patient that usage of O therapy should be merely used as directed and control of respirations with pursed lip technique. Direct the patient to take frequent interruptions to minimise weariness. Pacing of activities throughout the twenty-four hours will minimise undue emphasis on the lungs. It may be necessary to organize follow-up assignments for the patient ; nevertheless marks and symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing or the desire to tilt frontward to assistance in take a breathing will justify an earlier visit. A trip to the exigency room will be necessary if the patient starts to hold sudden, terrible shortness of breath, or if they become faint, weak, swoon or experience chest hurting with a rapid, irregular bosom rate.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a progressive and enfeebling disease procedure that wreaks mayhem on the patients cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Management of COPD can be maintained and symptoms minimized through equal diet intercessions, medicine regimens, finishing diagnostic tests and lab trials. Though COPD is a preventable disease, the realistic nature of the disease procedure requires a nurse that is knowing, caring and sympathetic to the patients overall demands.



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