Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a severe inflammation of the lungs that obstructs adequate airflow resulting in breathing-related issues. Leung et al. (2017) expound that the number of individuals estimated to have COPD in the United States is sixteen million (p. 634). This disease is caused by long-term exposure to particulate matter from cigarette smoking and exposure to irritants. Coughing, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, and sputum production are common COPD symptoms (Leung et al., 2017). Therefore, it is crucial to understand COPD’s different diagnostic approaches, GOLD stage, and appropriate therapeutic approaches.
The diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease might not happen until it is advanced. However, Andreeva et al. (2017) explain that healthcare professionals review the patient’s medical and family history, signs and symptoms, and exposure to irritants. In T. A’s case, clinicians can conduct tests such as computerized tomography (CT) examination and laboratory evaluation before developing an appropriate treatment plan. Lungs’ CT scan plays a vital role in detecting emphysema and determines if the patient can benefit from COPD surgery (Andreeva et al., 2017). This examination also rules out the possibility of lung cancer in patients. Laboratory tests do not diagnose COPD, but they diagnose alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency as one of COPD’s causes in an individual (Andreeva et al., 2017). Therefore, this test determines COPD’s causes and identifies other conditions.
The airflow obstruction severity was used to stage COPD until the establishment of the GOLD criteria by the American Thoracic Society (ATS). GOLD stages COPD according to the presence of obstruction (FEV1 to [FEV1/FVC] < 70% ratio) and how critical the illness is (Aaron et al., 2017). T. A’s condition is stage II because her signs and symptoms continue to worsen with time. For example, she complains about daily cough and mild shortness of breath. The patient has also noticed tiredness when climbing the stairs and increased wheezing, which was not the case before. In addition, T. A’s FEV1 is 60%, corresponding to the GOLD stage II, which ranges from 50% to 80% (Aaron et al., 2017, p. 307). Diagnostic approaches are essential because they provide detailed information about how chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has affected the patient’s body. Additionally, Aaron et al. (2017) explain that these evaluations determine how an individual’s lungs are working. These tests help healthcare professionals collaborate with the ill person and figure out the most appropriate treatment plan.
Managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a complex process that requires the clinician to work closely with the patient. Choudhury and MacNee (2017) explain that COPD treatment relieves the patient’s symptoms, prevents flare-ups, and enhances the lungs’ activities. The primary therapy for stage II COPD is to quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke. In this case, T.A has been smoking 1.5 cigarette packets every day for the past 35 years. Therefore, the clinician can ask the patient to avoid smoking to prevent the severity of the condition (Choudhury and MacNee, 2017). The healthcare provider might also administer bronchodilators short and long-acting medication to relieve symptoms (Choudhury and MacNee, 2017). Additionally, the patient can be advised to adopt an exercising routine, healthy eating tips, and the most appropriate COPD management plan. As a result, the patient understands what works best for her condition and work towards getting better.
In summary, COPD is a severe condition that has affected sixteen million Americans. This illness causes breathing-related issues due to the inflammation of an individual’s lungs. COPD diagnosis is determined by the patient’s family and medical history, signs and symptoms, and exposure to irritants. The progression of COPD symptoms is classified in the GOLD criteria as stage II. Quitting smoking, medication, and avoiding second-hand smoke are the primary COPD therapeutic interventions.
Aaron, S. D., Tan, W. C., Bourbeau, J., Sin, D. D., Loves, R. H., MacNeil, J., & Whitmore, G. A. (2017). Diagnostic instability and reversals of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease diagnosis in individuals with mild to moderate airflow obstruction. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 196(3), 306-314. Web.
Andreeva, E., Pokhaznikova, M., Lebedev, A., Moiseeva, I., Kuznetsova, O., & Degryse, J. M. (2017). Spirometry is not enough to diagnose COPD in epidemiological studies: a follow-up study. NPJ Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, 27(1), 1-9. Web.
Choudhury, G., & MacNee, W. (2017). Role of inflammation and oxidative stress in the pathology of ageing in COPD: Potential therapeutic interventions. COPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, 14(1), 122-135. Web.
Leung, J. M., Tiew, P. Y., Mac Aogáin, M., Budden, K. F., Yong, V. F. L., Thomas, S. S., Pethe, K., Hansbro, P. M., & Chotirmall, S. H. (2017). The role of acute and chronic respiratory colonization and infections in the pathogenesis of COPD. Respirology, 22(4), 634-650. Web.