Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Essay

1435 Words Sep 27th, 2016 6 Pages
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is any group debilitating, progressive, and potentially fatal lung diseases that have increased resistance to air movement, prolongation of the expiratory phase of respiration, and loss of the normal elasticity of the lung (Ignatavicius & Workman, 2012). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema is when the air sacs of the lungs are damaged and enlarged. Chronic bronchitis is inflammation of the mucous membrane in the bronchial tubes. The greatest risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is smoking. Inhaled smoke triggers the release of excessive amounts of the proteases from the cells in the lungs. Although cigarette smoke is the major risk factor for COPD, the total amount of “bad air” over time, or inhaled airborne irritants, is most important (Mahler, 2015). Examples of irritants are dust and smoke from wood or fuels. Another risk factor is Alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency. Alpha1-antitrypsin is a protease inhibitor that prevents the proteases from working on lung structures. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease affects oxygenation of all the tissues of the body. Some of the major problems that can occur are hypoxemia, dysrhythmias, acidosis, cardiac failure, and respiratory infection. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is very important to study from the perspective of a person or family that is experiencing that particular chronic illness. By being able to study from…

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