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COPD - Assignment Example

Lewis is 55 years and works as a bartender in large metropolitan area. He has been a heavy smoker for about forty years and 7 years back, he was diagnosed with COPD. He lives in city and takes a city bus to his place of work from where he has to walk down three blocks to reach the bar. 2.1. Signs and symptoms Mr. Lewis’s coughing has increased and he often has difficulty in breathing. He also experiences breathless and has to rest frequently while walking even for short distances. The symptoms increase from simple cough to cough with sputum, wheezing and breathlessness. The infection to chest and lungs increases in frequency and severity till coughing becomes a constant feature of the patient. At end stages, patient is totally bedridden with severe problem of breathing and cough. 2.2. Course of the disease While Mr. Lewis was diagnosed with COPD 7 years back but it is possible that he may have the disease for more years as he has been smoking tobacco for nearly forty years of his life. 2.3 Prognosis It is a persistent disease and worsens with time if preventable measures are not taken immediately. In this case, it has become serious and urgent pulmonary rehabilitation is required to attain optimum fitness. It is a chronic disorder and smoking is the most critical aspect and cause of COPD. Until the patient stops it, his chances of survival is at stake as it would lead to deterioration of the conditions and affect all spheres of his life. Stopping smoking is the best intervention that can

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reduce pressure to the lungs and give relief in the swelling of air passage. COPD may also increase the risk of other diseases, especially lung cancer and respiratory failure could lead to heart failure (van Weel C and Schellevis, 2006). Control oxygen therapy and rest would help reduce symptoms and improve the quality of life for the individual. 2.4 Needs of the patient While the reversal of disease is not possible but early detection and intervention helps it to control. Cessation of smoking hugely helps to prevent worsening of the condition. In early stages when smoking is stopped, the cough may worsen but it would ease in few weeks and therefore, patient must not be tempted to start smoking again. Hence, Mr. Lewis needs to stop smoking. The patient is also vulnerable to dust and physical environment like work exertion, pollution, allergy etc. and therefore requires adequate protection to safeguard his health. Rest and oxygen therapy would facilitate better response to improvement. An inhaler with bronchodilator is also recommended as it would relax the muscles of airways and ease breathing. The inhalers can also be used to give medication to reach the lungs which would reduce breathlessness. Mr. Lewis must consult his physician at the earliest to take appropriate treatment. 3. Impact of patient’s condition on his social experience COPD has significant impact on the socio economic experiences of the patient. The disease is progressive that adversely impacts the abilities of the patient to work at his best. The coughing and breathlessness reduce efficiency that leads to considerable loss of work productivity. In his social life, the disease influences his social relationship with others vis-a-vis family and extended family, community, acquaintances etc. The recurring expenses of healthcare are great financial burden which are adversely impacted by low productivity of the patient. Within the community, the patient may serve as role model for others,


1. Introduction Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD is a progressive inflammatory condition of the lungs that leads to swelling of the respiratory passage causing breathing related problems. In America, around 13.6 million people are affected by COPD and it is assumed to be fourth major causes of death…
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