Copd : Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

1179 WordsJul 25, 20155 Pages
COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is one of the most common lung diseases. Thousands of people are diagnosed every year, and it recently moved up to the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer. This paper will discuss disease pathology, the most common and recently discovered diagnostic tests, as well as treatment options. It will also address end of life care. COPD is a multi-system and multi-symptom disease. This means that it attacks the respiratory system, primarily, as well as the cardiovascular system. It also produces several symptoms that can be disguised for other pathologies and diseases. It is a progressive disease, meaning that treatment generally consists of easing symptoms, not curing them. Since it ends up being a terminal disease, a large part of treatment and patient care is developed around quality of life and the final stages of the patient. Several tests have been a part of diagnosing COPD for many years, including the most common, Spirometry. Spirometry is a lung function test that measures the total volume of air that the patient can expel from the lungs after maximum inspiration. Although this test is successful in helping diagnose COPD, it has been said to be overlooked more and more in primary care. Spirometry testing is essential, along with thorough examination and history taking, to avoid missed or late diagnoses. Healthcare workers responsible for conducting and interpreting
Open Document