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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

What will the end be like?

06/16/2008

Question:

My husband (age 62) has been diagnosed with severe emphysema, with congestive heart failure because of the emphysema. He (and I) want to know what the end is going to be like. I have noticed that there are references to long-term care and demetia. Does that mean that, as his time draws nearer, will I need to put him in a nursing home? He is already on oxygen 24/7, and is on most of the meds that I have read about. I would also appreciate exercise programs and breathing techniques help, so that I can help him as much as possible. He stopped smoking last year, as did I. I would also like to know more about pulmonary rehabilitation. Thank you so much.

Answer:

Without knowing his pulmonary function and functional capacity, it would be hard for us to tell you how advanced his disease is at this time. Pulmonary rehabilitation is helpful in managing his symptoms of shortness of breath and improving his functional status. Pulmonary rehabilitation programs are usually 2-3 days a week for about 8-12 weeks. They typically consists of exercise, breathing techniques and education about managing the chronic lung disease such as diet, infection control, symptom management and other relevant topics to help him better cope with his condition.

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Response by:

Mahasti   Rittinger, RRT Mahasti Rittinger, RRT
Clinical Program Manager of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University

Phillip T Diaz, MD Phillip T Diaz, MD
Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University