COPD Foundation Blog

Find inspirational stories, tips from the COPD Coach, events, and current news on the COPD community blog. Have a question regarding COPD that you would like to share with our community? Contact our COPD Coach. Coaches Corner is aimed at providing information for individuals with COPD to take to your doctor, and is not in any way intended to be medical advice. If you would like to submit a question to the Coaches Corner email us at We would love to hear your questions and comments.

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Archive: February 2016

The National COPD Action Plan

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The COPD community has long advocated for the creation of a national action plan to address COPD. Thanks in part our community efforts, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) will convene the first ever COPD Town Hall Meeting in Bethesda, Maryland. Creating such a plan will provide states across the country with a unified and comprehensive strategy to reduce the burden of COPD. Anyone interested in participating is invited to join the COPD Town Hall Meeting on February 29 - March 1, 2016.

For more information and to participate by registering for the COPD Town Hall Meeting, visit the Event Page.

“Action Plan During the meeting, each attendee will be invited to a working group and charged with developing objectives, tactics, and benchmarks related to the needs of the COPD population. Your input is critical to shaping the specific goals that make up the COPD National Action Plan, as well as identifying the top initiatives and efforts the plan will outline.

The COPD Foundation will host a welcome event prior to the meeting on Sunday, February 28th. If you register using the link above, please send a follow-up e-mail to Jamie Sullivan, Sr. Director of Public Policy, at so she may provide you with additional details.

If you have further questions about the COPD National Action Plan or the upcoming COPD Town Hall Meeting and welcome event, please contact We look forward to partnering with you as we continue charting the future of lung research.

Can't make it to the meeting? Connect with us on COPD360social - we'll be asking for your comments!

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Tags: National COPD Action Plan policy public
Categories: Advocacy

What are other options besides Pulmonary Rehab?

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Dear COPD Coach,
What can I do if I can’t afford Pulmonary Rehabilitation? What are my options?

–Exercise Options

Hi Exercise,
Many people in our community face that same obstacle, and there are some alternatives available to you! While going to a Pulmonary Rehabilitation program is by far the best alternative, you can always exercise from home whether you are chair-bound or able to walk about.

First, it is very important that you check with your doctor and get an official OK for exercise. If you do, a great place to start is with the Sit and Be Fit program specifically geared for COPD.

Walking is one of the best exercises you can do. It’s easiest if you have a good, safe path for walking or, if weather is a problem, a good indoor location. Shopping malls often have regular walking clubs to help folks get exercise and enjoy being with others. If it is OK with your doctor and if they have given you instruction, you might obtain a pulse oximeter so that you keep track of your oxygen saturation when walking about. It may seem easy to use a pulse oximeter, but you must understand how to interpret the numbers in order to exert yourself safely!

Many senior centers have regular exercise programs you can join for free or at a small charge. Perhaps your library has DVDs of chair exercises or strength training for seniors.

In addition to exercise, the educational portion of Pulmonary Rehabilitation involves such things as learning to breathe correctly, how to take your medications, healthy eating for COPD, managing depression and tips for daily living and understanding your COPD. Most of this material is also readily available on the internet.

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Tags: exercise options pulmonary rehab sit and be fit
Categories: Coaches Corner

Sleeping well with COPD

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It is highly important for individuals with COPD to get adequate sleep, yet it is often a challenge. A well-rested body has more energy to perform everyday tasks and a rested mind can better manage changes in mood.

Have trouble sleeping? Here are a few "Do's and Don'ts" that may help:


  • Review your medications with your doctor to see if you are experiencing side effects. You may require an adjustment.
  • Ask your healthcare provider if night-time use of supplemental oxygen is an option for you.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about non-invasive positive-pressure ventilation (NIPPV) such as CPAP if you suffer from sleep apnea or other sleep disorders.
  • Seek treatment for underlying lung infections that may affect your breathing during sleep.
  • Keep the room you sleep in cozy, quiet, dark and cool.
  • Only use your bed for sleep. Get up and do something else if you don’t fall asleep within 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Practice airway clearance techniques throughout the day and before bedtime to remove the build up of secretions in your airways.

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Tags: apnea COPD CPAP sleep
Categories: Tips for Healthy Living

Maintaining Your Portable Oxygen Concentrator

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Dear COPD Coach,
I recently purchased a portable oxygen concentrator. As you probably know, it was an expensive purchase. It is very important that it last for a long time because I will be paying for it for a long time. What advice would you give to make it last?

POC Buyer

Dear POC Buyer,
I was very happy to find your letter as it addresses a very important topic. As you said, the purchase of a portable concentrator can be an expensive proposition for many, and there are some definite things you can do to help keep it in good shape.

Here are some basic tips:


  • The unit and supplemental battery must be immediately charged after each use. Do not allow the unit or batteries to remain un-charged for any length of time.
  • The unit must not be exposed to any environment with tobacco smoke, wood smoke, or chemical fumes. The unit will pick up the odors and it is next to impossible to clean the order out!
  • The units are fragile. Do not drop or handle roughly! Take particular care in plugging in the AC adapter and your cannula, as these connection points are easy to break!
  • When you clean the unit, use a slightly damp cloth, and do not use strong cleaning products on it.
  • Check your manual to see where the filter is located, and if the filter is able to be cleaned or replaced. In either case, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on cleaning and replacement.
  • Keep the unit stored in a safe and clean location.

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Tags: concentrator maintenance oxygen portable support
Categories: Coaches Corner

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