Essay on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

1468 Words Dec 30th, 2009 6 Pages
COPD which is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is known as a condition that progressively makes it harder to breathe because the airflow into and out of the lungs is reduced. This usually occurs because the airways and air sacs lose their elastic quality, the walls between the air sacs are destroyed, the walls of the airways become swollen, or if the airways are clogged because they made more mucus than usual. Three main conditions of this disease are emphysema, chronic obstructive bronchitis, and asthma. Most patients who suffer from COPD also suffer from emphysema and chronic bronchitis as to why they are commonly just defined as COPD. The patients who experience one or more of these conditions usually find it even more difficult to …show more content…
If a patient is having a hard time catching their breath or talking, their not mentally alert, their heartbeat is very fast, their lips or fingernails turn gray, or blue or their recommended treatment which usually works isn’t work emergency treatment should be sought. If a doctor is attempting to diagnose COPD, he will first determine whether or not the patient is a smoker, then look into the patient’s family and medical history as well as their signs and symptoms. The doctor will also perform an auscultation using a stethoscope to listen for any wheezing or abnormal chest sounds. If the diagnosis process isn’t completed at that point, the doctor may then perform lung function tests. There are many different lung function tests; those are a spirometry, a peak flow meter, a lung volume measurement, a lung diffusion capacity, pulse oximetry, or an arterial blood gas test. A spirometry is a test to measure how much air you breathe in and out and how fast you blow it out. A peak flow meter is a small, hand-held device that shows how well air moves out of your lungs. A lung volume measurement like a spirometry measures how much air you can breathe in and out, however, it also measures the size of your lungs. A lung diffusion capacity determines how well oxygen passes through your lungs to your bloodstream. Last, are a pulse oximetry and an arterial blood gas test, both of these tests are used to see how much oxygen is in your blood. The arterial

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