Adherence to GOLD Guidelines in the Inpatient COPD Population

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Abstract

Purpose:

The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease guidelines provide recommendations to manage chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) exacerbations. This study assessed the management of inpatient COPD exacerbations at an urban teaching hospital.

Methods:

A retrospective cohort analysis of adults admitted between December 2010 and August 2012 with a COPD exacerbation was conducted. Patient demographics, length of stay (LOS), Charlson comorbidity score, inpatient pulmonary medications, and 30-day readmission were collected. Descriptive statistics characterized guideline adherence and readmission.

Results:

94 patients were included with median LOS of 3 days (interquartile range [IQR]: 1-5 days) and median Charlson comorbidity score of 6 (IQR: 5-8). All patients received an inhaled short-acting beta agonist, and 52 (55.3%) also received an inhaled short-acting anticholinergic. Seventy-eight (83%) received systemic corticosteroids, of which 3 received guideline-recommended doses. Sixty-four (68.1%) received antibiotics for a pulmonary indication, of which 71.9% received appropriate antibiotics per indication. Of the 94 patients, 2 were managed in complete adherence with GOLD recommendations. A total of 24 (25.5%) patients were readmitted within 30 days of discharge, 9 of these for COPD.

Conclusion:

COPD exacerbation treatment deviated from GOLD recommendations. This provides opportunities for further optimization of treatment of COPD exacerbations.

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