Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the 5th leading cause of death in Hong Kong, and further increases in its prevalence and mortality can be predicted in the coming decades.
COPD is a common preventable and treatable disease, is characterized by persistent airflow limitation that is usually progressive and associated
with an enhanced chronic inflammatory response in the airways and the lung to noxious particles or gases.
COPD is caused by a mixture of small airway disease (obstructive bronchiolitis) and parenchymal destruction (emphysema), the relative contributions of which vary from person to person.1
The most commonly encountered risk factor for COPD is tobacco smoke, while other non-smoking risk factors include occupational dust particles, chemicals, bacteria & virus infection. Tobacco smoking continues to be a major cause of COPD. Medical professionals point out that COPD is easy to be ignored due to the lack of symptoms in the initial stage, and it is not curable, hencequit smoking is the best way to prevent COPD.1
Symptoms of COPD include dyspnea, chronic cough, chronic sputum production. Severe patient would feel the shortage of breath when doing exercise or walk upstairs, when the situation gets worst, they would feel breathlessness even when they are walking or at rest.
Source: 1. Hong Kong Lung Foundation - Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease 2007
Oxygen saturation is a term referring to the concentration of oxygen in the blood. In medicine, oxygen saturation (SpO2), commonly referred to as "Saturation (Sats)", measures the percentage of hemoglobin binding sites in the bloodstream occupied by oxygen.
The human body requires and regulates a very precise and specific balance of oxygen in the blood. Normal blood oxygen levels in humans are considered 95-100 percent. If the level is below 90 percent, it is considered low resulting in hypoxemia. Blood oxygen levels below 80 percent may compromise organ function, such as the brain and heart, and should be treated by medical professional immediately.
Pulse oximeter measures the blood oxygen saturation of patient, and it is widely used by patients to monitor their blood oxygen saturation at home.
A study confirmed that "...considerable improvements in exercise tolerance may result from the use of portable oxygen in severe airflow obsturction....Portable oxygen therapy enables patients with severe airflow obstruction to walk further rather than faster." With the proven benefits of portable oxygen therapy, you can continue to maintain your lifestyle by choosing a suitable portable oxygen device.*
Mobility device allows LTOT patients to take parts in outdoor activities, meeting friends, dinning out & maintain your independent lifestyle, it helps them to re-integrate themselves into the society, hence improves their quality of life.
In fact, Celki VitalAire works hard to encourage mobility and promotes the "Freedom on Oxygen" for many years. We have various solutions that suit for different needs for outdoor mobility.
* A.C. Davidson; Supplemental oxygen & exercise ability in chronic obstructive airways disease; Thorax 1988;43:965-971 Ambulatory Oxygen Therapy, Exercise and Survival with Advanced COPD. Thomas L. Petty. Respiratory care 2000
As the family members of a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patient, it is vital to recognize the warning signs of an approaching spell. In general, the patient will feel when an attack is imminent; however, there are some signs of a COPS spell that are unobvious to caregivers, especially if they differ from past flare-ups.
Keep these tips nearby so you are ready for sudden incidents.
1) Shortness of Breath
Increased shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing require breathing treatment. Talk to the patient’s physician for appropriate breathing exercises.
2) Increased Coughing
In a COPD spell, usual symptoms suddenly become worse. Increased coughing, with or without sputum, is a sign of the airway growing narrower.
If below symptoms appear, do not wait until the next appointment with the physician to talk about. Contact the doctor within 24 hours of changes in health.
Fever is not a good indicator for COPD spells because not all patients experience high fevers with spells. However, if fever is accompanied by any of the above symptoms listed, a COPD spell may be imminent.
4) Swelling in Lower Extremities
Patients with COPD often develop swelling in their ankles, feet or legs. If this happens, elevate feet immediately.
Coughing up mucus-like sputum is normal. However, sputum that becomes thicker or changes color to yellow or green, or that is blood-tinge should be reported to doctor.
Fatigue and reduced ability to exercise are only normal among patients with severe COPD. Call the doctor within 24 hours if a persistent, dramatic increase of fatigue occurs.
If below symptoms occur, call 999 immediately or send the patient to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.
7) Bluish Lips or Skin
Lips, skin, fingernails or toes with a bluish tint are called cyanosis. Cyanosis is caused by a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. Rapid administration of supplemental oxygen by a medical professional is required.
8) Confusion or Dizziness
Sudden confusion, dizziness or extreme agitation indicate a severe COPD flare-up.
If your family member is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, such as sudden confusion, or worsened shortness of breath not relieved by prescribed medicines, call 999 or go to your nearest hospital immediately.