Disease Profile Copd Essay

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Date Assigned to Patient: 9/14/2011
Name of Major Medical Diagnosis: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Definition: COPD is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. "Progressive" means the disease get worse over time. It can cause coughing that produces large amount of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms.

Etiology: Most cases of COPD occur as a result of long-term exposure to lung irritants that damage the lungs and the airways.
In the United States, the most common irritant that causes COPD is cigarette smoke. Pipe, cigar, and other types of tobacco smoke also can cause COPD, especially if the smoke is inhaled.
Breathing in secondhand smoke,
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The main test for COPD is spirometry. Other lung function tests, such as a lung diffusion capacity test, also may be used.
Spirometry; During this painless test, a technician will ask you to take a deep breath in. Then, you'll blow as hard as you can into a tube connected to a small machine. The machine is called a spirometer.
The machine measures how much air you breathe out. It also measures how fast you can blow air out. Your doctor may have you inhale medicine that helps open your airways and then blow into the tube again. He or she can then compare your test results before and after taking the medicine.
Spirometry can detect COPD long before its symptoms appear. Doctors also may use the results from this test to find out how severe your COPD is and to help set your treatment goals.
The test results also may help find out whether another condition, such as asthma or heart failure, is causing your symptoms.
Other Tests
Your doctor may recommend other tests, such as: * A chest x ray or chest CT scan. These tests create pictures of the structures inside your chest, such as your heart, lungs, and blood vessels. The pictures can show signs of COPD. They also may show whether another condition, such as heart failure, is causing your symptoms. * An arterial blood gas test. This blood test measures the oxygen level in your blood using a sample of blood taken from an artery. The test can help find out how severe your COPD is and whether you may
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