COPD Advanced Patient Management

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Abstract

COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States, with current rates of both morbidity and mortality persisting and contributing significantly to long-term disability. More than 11 million Americans are diagnosed with COPD, with an additional 13 million people estimated to be living with undiagnosed disease. For patients diagnosed with COPD, the turning point will be hospitalization. It is important, therefore, that new treatment techniques that manage the signs and symptoms of the COPD and impact the prevalence and severity of exacerbations, hospital admissions, quality of life, and activities of daily living, and innovative clinical management strategies that optimize hospital discharge planning, all show promise in improving outcomes for patients with COPD. In particular, readmissions following COPD hospitalization are associated with high morbidity, mortality, and costs of care, and therefore hospital readmissions are receiving close scrutiny as an opportunity to improve patient care. To this end, programs to assess the presence and severity of dyspnea, and secretion burden and clearance, through implementation of a telemedicine program, use of noninvasive ventilation or supplemental oxygen, and development of a comprehensive self-management program have all been found to be variously effective as elements of a posthospitalization treatment plan. In this series of multi-media presentations and roundtable discussions published in CHEST (available at http://journal.cme.chestnet.org/copd-advanced-patient), leading international faculties discuss some of these specific interventions in detail to provide clinicians with possible solutions to the challenges of managing their patients with advanced COPD.

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