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COPD Exacerbations

Burt, Leah MS, APN; Corbridge, Susan PhD, APN, FAANP

AJN, American Journal of Nursing: February 2013 - Volume 113 - Issue 2 - p 34,43
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000426688.96330.60
Feature Articles

Overview Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the United States. It's estimated that more than 13 million U.S. adults have COPD, and as many as 24 million have evidence of impaired lung function, suggesting that COPD is underdiagnosed. Even when patients receive optimal COPD therapy, they periodically experience exacerbations, which reduce lung function and quality of life, increase risk of death from COPD, and account for the majority of costs related to COPD treatment. This article, the second in a two-part series on COPD, outlines current guidelines and evidence-based recommendations for identifying, assessing, and managing COPD exacerbations (the first article in the series, “An Evidence-Based Approach to COPD,” March 2012, focused on the management of stable COPD in the outpatient setting).

Leah Burt is a clinical instructor in the Department of Biobehavioral Health Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Nursing. Susan Corbridge is director of the acute care nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist programs at the UIC College of Nursing and a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the UIC Medical Center. Contact author: Leah Burt, The authors and nurse planners have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.