Exacerbations of COPD: Evaluation and treatment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In evaluating patients who have exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ask about symptoms and signs, such as dyspnea and sputum production, that may suggest an infectious cause. Look for evidence of pneumonia, accessory respiratory muscle use, wheezing, hemodynamic instability, and altered mental status. Arterial blood gas analysis is necessary to identify hypoxemia and acute respiratory acidosis. Inhaled β2-agonist therapy reduces dyspnea in most patients and may be combined with ipratropium. Consider giving oral prednisone for mild exacerbations and intravenous methylprednisolone for moderate to severe exacerbations. Antibiotics are indicated for patients who have increased dyspnea, sputum production, and sputum purulence. Those who are treated as outpatients should be closely followed and should be hospitalized if they do not respond adequately to treatment in 3 to 5 days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)722-730
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Respiratory Diseases
Volume21
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000

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Sputum
Dyspnea
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Ipratropium
Respiratory Acidosis
Blood Gas Analysis
Respiratory Muscles
Respiratory Sounds
Methylprednisolone
Prednisone
Signs and Symptoms
Pneumonia
Outpatients
Therapeutics
Hemodynamics
Anti-Bacterial Agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

Cite this

Exacerbations of COPD : Evaluation and treatment. / Piquette, Craig Arnold.

In: Journal of Respiratory Diseases, Vol. 21, No. 12, 01.12.2000, p. 722-730.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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