Exacerbation is a serious health condition that could lead to the loss of lung normal functions. (Prince et al., 2004) For this reason, patients that are experiencing exacerbations may be hospitalized and need to go through a long period of recovery.
For the purpose of this study, the researcher will determine and discuss the significance of exacerbations of COPD in terms of its effect on the patients and the health care service providers. With regards to the proper management of exacerbations, the researcher will highlight the available pharmacological and non-pharmacological options for exacerbations.
Exacerbations in patients with COPD are usually associated with a major decline in the long-term quality of the patients’ life and their lung functioning. (Donaldson et al., 2002; Seemungal et al., 1998) Although the etiology and mechanisms behind a severe COPD exacerbations are not clear, several studies have shown that infections caused by bacteria (White, Gompertz, Stockley, 2003; Sethi and Murphy, 2001) and virus (Rohde et al., 2003; Seemungal and Wedzicha, 2003) are present during an increase frequency of exacerbations.
Exacerbations related to COPD are often associated with the increase in airway inflammation related to eosinophilia (Fujimoto et al., 2005; Zhu et al., 2001), neutrophilic (Aaron et al., 2001; Stockley et al., 2000; Sethi et al., 2000), and neutrophils in bronchial biopsies (Qiu et al., 2003). These factors may contribute to the patient’s dyspnea or difficulty in breathing. In line with this matter, it has been reported that roughly 25% of COPD patients have reported having experienced a profound total body pain. (Lynn et al., 2000)
Due to the fact that most of patients with severe COPD may experience exacerbations, some patients may experience anxiety due to their functional limitations and hunger for air. Some