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COPD: Do Field Staff Know The Fundamentals?

Posted by Melissa Cott on Mar 11, 2022

From Nurselabs: Any respiratory disease that persistently obstructs bronchial airflow fall under the broad classification of COPD, also known as chronic airflow limitations (CAL). Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a condition of chronic dyspnea with expiratory airflow limitation that does not significantly fluctuate. Within that broad category, the primary cause of the obstruction may vary; examples include airway inflammation, mucous plugging, narrowed airway lumina, or airway destruction.Take the COPD Quiz for Skilled Nursing!

The term COPD mainly involves two related diseases — chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Although asthma also involves airway inflammation and periodic narrowing of the airway lumina (hyperreactivity), the condition is the result of individual response to a wide variety of stimuli/triggers and is therefore episodic in nature with fluctuations/exacerbations of symptoms.

COPD is also called chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD).

img-elderly-inhaler-COPDAsthma: Also known as chronic reactive airway disease, asthma is characterized by reversible inflammation and constriction of bronchial smooth muscle, hypersecretion of mucus, and edema. Precipitating factors include allergens, emotional upheaval, cold weather, exercise, chemicals, medications, and viral infections.

Chronic bronchitis: Widespread inflammation of airways with narrowing or blocking of airways, increased production of mucoid sputum, and marked cyanosis.

Emphysema: Most severe form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, characterized by recurrent inflammation that damages and eventually destroys alveolar walls to create large blebs or bullae (air spaces) and collapsed bronchioles on expiration (air-trapping).

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing care for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease involves introduction of treatment regimen to relieve symptoms and prevent complications. Most because with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease receive outpatient treatment, the nurse should develop a teaching plan to help them comply with the therapy and understand the nature of this chronic disease.

Here are five Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Nursing Care Plans (NCP):

    Ineffective Airway Clearance
    Impaired Gas Exchange
    Ineffective Breathing Pattern
    Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements
    Risk for Infection
    Deficient Knowledge


Adapted from NurseLabs https://nurseslabs.com/nclex-exam-asthma-copd-2-50-items/