Exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- PubMed: 20527283
Acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are important events in COPD patients and place a large burden on healthcare resources. COPD patients with frequent exacerbations have accelerated decline in lung function, poorer health status and are at higher risk of mortality. The mainstay of treatment includes increasing short acting bronchodilator therapy and systemic glucocorticosteroids with or without antibiotics. Non invasive ventilation is indicated in those with respiratory failure with acidosis or hypercapnia. Preventive strategies to reduce exacerbations include smoking cessation, immunisation against influenza and S. pneumonia, chronic maintenance inhaled pharmacotherapy, pulmonary rehabilitation and self management education.