Blood Tests Essay

. Blood tests may also be used to check the white blood cell count, which can sometimes reveal an acute infection. Blood tests along with chest x-rays can be used to assess for pneumonia, bronchitis, or other respiratory infections that can make emphysema worse. Arterial blood gases are also typically ordered to help doctors determine how much oxygen and carbon dioxide are in the blood.
Even though there is no cure for emphysema, treatments can help relieve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Generally, a doctor will prescribe treatments in a stepwise fashion, based on the stage of the disease. Recommending that patients quit smoking cigarettes may ease the progression of the disease and should improve the function of
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These various therapies may help to break the smoking addiction and begin the improvement of lung function and quality of life for patients. Bronchodilators, which help to open up the airways and allow better air exchange, are usually the first-line medications that are prescribed for patients with emphysema. In very mild cases, bronchodilators may be used only as needed, for exacerbations of dyspnea. When used for quick relief, it is considered a rescue medication because it acts to rapidly “rescue” patients from an exacerbation of their dyspnea as well as from having a more severe exacerbation. The most common bronchodilator for mild cases of emphysema is albuterol (i.e., Proventil,Ventolin), most commonly available as a metered-dose inhaler (MDI). It is short-acting – acts within minutes to relieve symptoms – and one dose can provide relief from 4-6 hours. If a patient with emphysema has some extent of dyspnea at rest, albuterol can be prescribed at regularly scheduled doses, either through the MDI, or by nebulization (delivery of medication via inhalation). Ipratropium bromide (i.e., Atrovent) is another

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