Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Essay

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Essay

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease refers to a group of lung diseases that block airflow and make breathing difficult. COPD is a progressive lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. Approximately 12 million people in the United States have been diagnosed and many more may be affected and not know that they have it. WWW.healthline.com/health/COPD. There are two airway obstruction diseases associated with COPD; emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema, a type of COPD, involves the damage to the alveoli (air sacs) in the lungs, due to the loss of lung elasticity and hyperinflation of the lung. Many patients with emphysema also have chronic bronchitis; chronic bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchi and bronchioles in the lungs. Bronchitis is caused by exposure to irritants, the irritants then cause inflammation, followed by vasodilation, mucosal edema, congestion, and bronchospasm. COPD is characterized by chronic inflammation of the airways, lung tissue and pulmonary blood vessels as a result of exposure to inhaled irritants. (http://www.thinkcopdifferently.com/en/About-COPD/What-is-COPD/Pathophysiology-of COPD) The number one irritant that causes chronic bronchitis and emphysema is cigarette smoke.
Smoking and inflammation enlarge the mucous glands that line airway walls in the lungs. Additionally, inflammation associated with COPD causes damage to the mucociliary transport system which is responsible for clearing mucus from the airways. Both these factors contribute to excess mucus in the airways which eventually accumulates, blocking them and worsening airflow. The tissue damage is not reversible and increases in severity over time, eventually leading to respiratory failure. IGGY PAGE 601. While cigarette smo...


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...re in the airways and prevents the small airways from collapsing. Controlled coughing will allow the patient to clear secretions, this is most effective when done upon awakening and going to sleep.
The expected and optimal outcomes for the patient with COPD, are to maintain a patent airway, decrease anxiety, have an acceptable level of activity, achieve and maintain an ideal body weight, and avoid serious respiratory infections. Theses outcomes can only be realistic by compliance of the patient, and with the help of family, friends, and the healthcare team. Early diagnosis and understanding of the disease are crucial for the patient to try and remain in their current health status.

Source: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease | University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease#ixzz3Rx3mKUzL

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