Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ( Copd )

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Eduardo Martinez
Kaplan College
Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology
RSP 120
Bruce Kennedy MHA, RRT
January 1, 2016 Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the United States. “COPD affects over 24 million Americans and our community stretches across all 50 states.” (COPD Foundation, 2016, p. 1). In this paper we will go over the main causes of COPD, what is emphysema and chronic bronchitis, the symptoms, also we will cover the different stages COPD and some of the common treatments. Although COPD does not discriminate by age it is primarily found to affect the middle age and older group. As we go further
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COPD can also be caused by being exposed continuously to dust or toxic fumes. Premature birth can also cause this disease if the respiratory system has not fully developed. The last cause were going to cover is inherited. This is a rare condition in which your body may not be able to make enough of a protein (alpha-1 antitrypsin) that helps protect the lungs from damage(WebMD, LLC., 2005-2016, p. 2). Long-term abuse of the respiratory system such as smoking and exposure to irritants leads to chronic bronchitis and emphysema; these are the two diseases that make up COPD.
Although together chronic bronchitis and emphysema make up COPD and both affect respiratory system, these two diseases have different effects. Chronic bronchitis is a disease that irritates and makes the airways get inflamed. The body’s natural response to irritation in the airways is to produce more mucus. With the air ways inflamed and the excess mucus it becomes difficult to breath. On the other hand we have emphysema; emphysema affects the air sacs in the lungs (alveoli). The alveoli walls become damaged and can even be ruined; because of this many small alveoli reduce to big alveoli instead. This makes the gas exchange (oxygen into the body carbon-dioxide out) go down. Patients often suffer many symptoms before the visit a doctor and get a COPD diagnosis.
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