What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties.

Chronic disease means having it long-term or for the rest of your life. Obstructive refers to a blockage in the airways of the lungs. Pulmonary refers to the lungs.

COPD refers to two primary obstructive lung diseases:

  • Chronic bronchitis

  • Emphysema

It is common to have both bronchitis and emphysema alongside COPD, however, they don’t even realize they have it until the symptoms are very intense.

The various symptoms of COPD include breathlessness when active, persistent cough with phlegm, constant chest infections, and wheezing.

Some COPD statistics and facts

  1. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) caused 3.23 million deaths in 2019, it currently stands as the third leading cause of death worldwide.
  2. Almost 90% of COPD deaths in people under 70 years old occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC).
  3. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that COPD prevalence has been higher among women compared to men over the years.
  4. Patients with COPD have an increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer, and other conditions.
  5. Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of COPD in developed countries such as the United States. In developing countries, COPD develops when constantly exposed to fumes from burning fuel and living in poorly ventilated homes.

Do I qualify for hospice care if I have COPD?

If you or a loved one is struggling with COPD, you can qualify for hospice care. Some criteria are:

  • If you are in end-stage COPD (end-stage usually means six months).

  • If you have persistent dyspnea.

  • Evidence of progressive pulmonary disease.

  • If you require oxygen most of the time.

  • Inability to perform everyday tasks.

Ascend Hospice Care

How does Ascend care for COPD patients?

How does Ascend care for COPD patients?

Hospice can be very beneficial for patients that have COPD. At Ascend Hospice Care, we have experience and a specialized treatment program for patients currently dealing with COPD and other lung diseases.

When dealing with this type of condition, patients can develop dyspnea (shortness of breath and intense tightening in the chest). The anxiety and stress it causes are two of the most common symptoms patients experience.

Hospice care is favorable for the patient because of the individualized care it offers. We can help ease those symptoms with therapies and the emotional support hospice care offers. With our 24/7 care, hospice care is a great way to treat COPD.