Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a life-threatening health condition that affects the
respiratory system. It affects the lungs and the ability of an individual to breathe.
Pathophysiology refers to the evolution of the functional changes that are associated with the
disease. Pathophysiology of the disease starts with the damage to the airways and the alveoli in
the lungs hence affecting the process of breathing and respiration as a whole. COPD affects
different parts of the brain but they all lead to difficulty in breathing. One of the biggest
challenges that is associated with COPD is the fact that the damage that it does on the lungs
cannot be undone. The good news is that there are several preventive measures that healthy
people can take to avoid developing COPD. COPD is a broad term that is used to refer to several
chronic diseases that affect the lungs. The two major COPDs include emphysema and chronic
bronchitis. An understanding of the breathing process is important when one needs to know the
pathophysiology of COPD. Emphysema affects the alveoli. The disease leads to the damage of
the fibers that make up the walls of the alveoli (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung
Disease. (, 2017).
The damage caused by the disease makes the walls of the alveoli to be less elastic, and in so
doing the patient is unable to exhale carbon dioxide from the lungs appropriately. The presence
of carbon dioxide in the lungs makes it harder for the patient to inhale the required oxygen which
may then lead to suffocation and in some extreme cases, it may lead to the death of the patient.
IF the airways in the lungs become inflamed, bronchitis may develop with the subsequent
production and secretion of mucus into the airways. The persistence of bronchitis leads to
chronic bronchitis that is not curable but can be managed by taking the necessary drugs that are
used in dealing with the conditions. A patient may have temporary bouts of bronchitis but
mostly, this is not considered to be COPD. The symptoms of COPD will only be manifested
when the disease is very advanced. People with COPD experience shortness of breath after
minor physical exertion. Someone should make a point of visiting the doctor if he or she finds
himself or herself breathing harder than usual after a common physical activity such as climbing
stairs. The mucus in the airways affects the volume of air that enters and leaves the lungs and
that is why the people face shortness of breath. Coughing to release mucus from the lungs is a
common symptom of COPD (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. (, 2017).
Evidence-based pharmacological treatments of COPD
Treatment for COPD has become effective, especially when the pharmacological measures are
used together with the behavioral changes such as a reduction in the exposure to the risk factors
and oxygen therapy. One of the cornerstones of COPD management is pharmacological
management. The main drugs that are used in the treatment of COPD include short-acting B 2
agonist which include Fenoterol and Albuterol. The other classes of drugs used in the treatment
of the disease are the long-acting B 2 agonist which include Formoterol, Salmeterol, Indacaterol,
Olodaterol. The short-acting anticholinergics include ipratropium (bromide). The long-acting
anticholinergic includes Glycopyrronium (bromide), Tiotropium and Umoclidinium (bromide).
The other classes of drugs that are used in the treatment of COPD include Microlide, Mucolytic,
Phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor, B 2 agonist plus short-acting anticholinergic, B 2 agonist plus long-
acting anticholinergic as well as the long-acting B 2 agonist plus inhaled corticosteroid. The
pharmacological interventions make the process of managing the disease to be easier (Halpin et
Clinical guidelines for assessment, diagnosis, and patient education for the disease process
Assessment of the patients with COPD is important because it helps in coming up with an
accurate diagnosis that will help in determining prognosis, making therapeutic decisions, and
coming up with outcomes for clinical research. The patients that present with airflow limitation
and the clinical features that are associated with COPD undergo chest computed tomography
(CT) scans. CT scans are mandatory when preparing the patients for surgery. X-rays are also
used though not recommended because of the effects that it has in the cells after long term
exposure. Patients are also educated on the measures that they are supposed to take in the
management of the disease as a way of ensuring good outcomes in the treatment of the diseases.
Education involves the direction on how to avoid risky situations that may lead to exacerbation
of the symptoms and making the disease to be worse. Education also involves the direction on
the time which the patient should visit the doctor for assessment and treatment. The teaching
enables the patients to take care of themselves in such a way that they prevent the disease from
becoming worse and leading to more problems. In a nutshell, patient education will help in the
management of the condition and reducing the chances of negative eventualities (Miravitlles, et.,
How the disease process affects patients, families, and populations in communities
The disease process affects patients, families, and the population in general. The symptoms, in
general, affect the patients in such a way that they cannot take part in various activities in
society. They are also affected psychologically because they are not aware of when they will be
well. The families are also affected because they have to leave their day to day activities to take
care of their sick relatives. They are also forced to take money that could be used in the family to
treat the patient. They are also affected psychologically as they watch their relatives suffer. The
population is also affected because many people die as a result of malaria leaving behind
orphans, widows, and widowers (Miravitlles, et., al. 2017).
Three strategies you could use to implement best practices for managing the disease in your
current healthcare organization
One strategy is to look for practices that are cheaper to apply as a way of making sure that the
treatment process is sustainable and useful in society. The strategy will make sure that the
process of treatment is successful and costs less money. The second strategy is to educate the
population on what they need to know concerning the prevention of the disease. The second
strategy will help in decreasing the number of new infections. The third strategy is to take up the
role of protecting oneself from the disease as a way of ensuring that everyone is healthy (Regan
et., al. 2011).
Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. (2017). Global Strategy for the
Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of COPD-2019 Report. Bethesda: GOLD.
Halpin, D. M., Celli, B. R., Criner, G. J., Frith, P., Varela, M. V. L., Salvi, S., … & Aisanov, Z.
(2019). It is time for the world to take COPD seriously: a statement from the GOLD board of
Miravitlles, M., Soler-Cataluña, J. J., Calle, M., Molina, J., Almagro, P., Quintano, J. A., … &
Simonet, P. (2017). Spanish Guidelines for Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary
Disease (GesEPOC) 2017. Pharmacological Treatment of Stable Phase. Archivos de
bronconeumologia, 53(6), 324-335.
Regan, E. A., Hokanson, J. E., Murphy, J. R., Make, B., Lynch, D. A., Beaty, T. H., … & Crapo,
J. D. (2011). Genetic epidemiology of COPD (COPDGene) study design. COPD: Journal of
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, 7(1), 32-43.