A recent study has attempted to look at the conditions that aggravate COPD symptoms, which lead to hospitalization or readmission to the hospital, and what pharmacists can do to help improve these conditions.
COPD symptoms include difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing, and excreting excess mucus.
Stages of COPD
There are four stages to the disease. The first is mild COPD. In this stage, the flow of air into the lungs is limited a little, but the person does not notice it much. Coughing and mucus production occur occasionally. In the second or moderate stage, the person is usually short of breath after vigorous activity. This is the stage when people begin to notice symptoms.
The next stage is severe COPD. Airflow is even more restricted, and shortness of breath more severe. The person is not able to exercise normally. Symptoms flare up more often. In the final stage, classified as very severe, the person’s airflow is limited, and flare-ups are more frequent. Quality of life declines dramatically.
In the study, 60 patients with COPD were divided into two groups, an inpatient group and a control group, people who were not hospitalized. Using the information that was collected from these two groups, the researchers developed a data collection process for COPD risk factors covering the following areas:
- Patient-specific factors influencing COPD, such as patient demographics, medication reconciliation, environmental conditions, spirometry results, smoking history, and reaction to changes in climate and weather.
- How regularly the patient uses his or her inhaler and what the person does when COPD symptoms intensify.
- How proficient the patient is in using his or her inhaler or nebulizer.
Then, based on the data gathered, the researchers put together a care model focused on the following areas:
- Difficulties patients may have in using their inhalers because of incorrect technique and misconceptions about its use
- Self-management actions plans for handling symptoms when they become more severe
- Improving the management of comorbidities
The research may help provide a framework that pharmacists can use to treat patients with COPD..
If you want to boost your chances of finding a pharmacy job, work with Cameron and Company. We are the leader in temporary placement for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. We understand pharmacy like a few other firms and work in your best interests to find the right job in the right setting. We offer short- and long-term temporary and per diem employment in a variety of healthcare and retail locations. Contact Cameron and Company today.