COPD: obstructed lungs
£9.95 GBP, 2 hours

Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) affect 14 per cent of the population over 40 years of age. With an aging population, the number of those requiring care for COPD is expected to increase, having a significant effect on health care resources. COPD is projected to become the third leading cause of death globally by 2020. This disease has a major impact on economic and social wellbeing, and on quality of life. It is regarded as largely preventable but, once developed, it is a progressive and complex condition characterised by frequent exacerbations and comorbidities. Smoking is the primary cause of COPD but up to 30 per cent of those with COPD have never smoked. It is increasingly recognised that COPD may have its origins prenatally and in early childhood. 

Treating exacerbations, improving exercise capacity, and delaying the progression of disease are key management strategies aimed at improving quality of life for people with COPD. No curative or disease modifying therapies are currently available. Nurses are essential in providing comprehensive care to patients in both acute care and for long-term management of this chronic disease. They also have a vital role to play in preserving healthy lung function in the early years of life to reduce the risk of COPD in older age.

After completing the online learning activity and quiz, you should be able to:

  • Discuss the causes of, and risk factors for COPD 
  • Outline current understanding of the pathophysiology mechanisms in COPD.
  • Describe management strategies for chronic and acute management of COPD.
  • Discuss strategies through the lifespan to reduce risk of developing COPD.


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