Essay On Copd

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
A Brief Overview and Selected Pharmacological Interventions Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an often preventable lung disease; that can be treated but not cured. COPD is an overarching term that includes the progressive lung diseases emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease [GOLD], 2017, pp. 6-7). According to the Centers for Disease Control [CDC] (2016), as of 2015 over 15 million Americans have COPD; and COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Women are more likely than men to have COPD. People over the age of 65 have the highest incidence …show more content…

What Are Some Characteristics, Signs, Symptoms and Causes of COPD? It is important first to describe the physiology of normal respiration in order to differentiate it from the abnormal pathology of COPD. McCance and Huether (2014) explain, starting with inhalation, oxygen rich air travels from the trachea, to the right and left bronchus, to smaller bronchioles, to alveolar sacs, finally reaching millions of alveoli on the surface of the lungs. Normally alveoli expand and contract easily. Each alveoli is surrounded by tiny permeable blood capillaries where gas exchange occurs at the singular cellular level. During inspiration the alveoli expand and oxygen is taken in to the blood. During exhalation alveoli contract and carbon dioxide is released from the blood. Carbon dioxide is released from the lungs during exhalation. Oxygenated blood travels to the heart where it is pumped throughout the body to profuse tissues and vital organs. Blood becomes deoxygenated and picks up carbon dioxide as it circulates. This blood returns to the heart where it is pumped to the lungs and the cycle begins again (pp. 1228-1243). In COPD the parenchyma of the lungs becomes damaged. According to McCance and Huether (2014) especially in COPD with emphysema, the alveoli of the lungs become damaged less elastic and lose their shape. As damage continues, some alveoli join together. The result is less surface area so

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