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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – Reading & Sharing

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the United States. It is highly prevalent, and as it progresses, causes patients to become too disabled to work, thus creating substantial economic and social burdens. In 2010, U.S. healthcare data estimated the total economic burden from COPD at $50 billion, of which $30 billion was related to direct medical expenditures and the remaining $20 billion related to morbidity, loss of work, and premature death. There are also unacknowledged and unquantified costs including the economic value of care provided by family members and their potential lost wages as they stay home to care for the patient.

As the disease progresses, some patients will choose mechanical ventilation as a palliative treatment option. although the patient with advanced disease is eligible for hospice care, many hospices cannot afford to accept the patient with mechanical ventilation into their programs because this high-tech intervention drives the cost of care beyond the standard insurance reimbursement. Thus, patients and families may be deprived of the benefits of hospice care.

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COPD (Reading & Sharing)

COPD is or chronic obstructive airway disease is actually an umbrella term for a group of diseases that cause airway blockage and breathing problems in general. According to Higginson and Parry (2018), “COPD is a progressive obstructive lung disease that adversely affects the patient’s ability to both breathe and exchange gases between the alveoli and circulation due to loss of lung tissue” (p. 12). Those diseases included are emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma. According to the CDC, almost 15.7 million Americans or 6.4% reported having COPD (CDC, 2018). The rate of COPD was higher in people aged 65 and older, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, current or former smokers, and those with a history of asthma (CDC, 2018).

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a preventable and treatable disease usually caused by exposure to tobacco smoke. It is characterized by airflow limitation that is not fully reversible. This disease is associated with an abnormal inflammatory response of the lungs to noxious particles of gases, chronic airway irritation, mucus production, and pulmonary scarring and changes in pulmonary vasculature (Ferri, 2018).

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) /Reading and Sharing

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD is a condition of the lungs that is progressive. Airflow is limited and it is not completely reversible. It is an obstruction of pulmonary airflow. The bronchial wall becomes inflamed and there is increased mucus secretion along with decreased lung elasticity (Grossman & Porth, 2014).

In the United States 14% of adults between the ages of 40 to 79 years are affected with COPD, with the highest incidence in males greater than 40 years of age (Ferri, 2018). Ferri (2018), states that between 10% and 20% of COPD in the US is due to occupational or other exposure to chemical vapors, fumes, and irritants; 80% to 90% is due to cigarette smoking. Ferri (2018) further states that COPD is accountable for 16 million office visits, 500,000 hospitalizations, 120,000 deaths annually, and greater than $18 billion in direct health care costs annually can also be distributed to COPD. It is also a leading cause of death. COPD has become a global problem and is climbing on the list as a leading cause of death worldwide.

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