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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Care Management of Your COPD

First of all, just in case you're wondering what COPD means, - it's Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
A good plan can help you manage your lung condition.
Ask your doctor's help to make a written action plan for your COPD. This includes the symptoms to watch for and steps to take when you're feeling bad.

Warning Signs of Worse Symptoms:
Watch for:
  • more shortness of breath
  • greenish discharge or blood when you cough, which is a sign of an emergency situation
  • general aches or fatigue
  • coughing more or wheezing
  • a sore throat, runny nose, or other cold and flu symptoms
  • appetite loss
If you have these symptoms, always call your doctor. Some other actions you may take include:
  • taking bronchodilators, which open your airways quickly
  • using inhaled steroids or steroid tablets
  • breathing slowly and deeply
  • resting more
  • starting antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor.
Call for help right away if you can't catch your breath, have a high fever or feel chest pain, or if your lips or fingernails turn gray or blue.
Make sure you have a list of your medicines and phone numbers for your doctor, a neighbor or family member and emergency services.