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COPD Exacerbations: A Patient and Physician’s Perspective

Resource Type: Articles Opinion/Editorials

This dual-perspective article provides one impacted individual’s experience with COPD exacerbations as well as impressions of a respiratory physician. John Linnell, the patient author and a COPD Foundation state captain, shares his early disease experience and its progression, which for some time did not include severe flare-ups. He walks the reader through the process by which he proactively recognizes and addresses symptoms that may signal an exacerbation and the importance of the partnership he maintains with his healthcare team. The physician stresses the importance of having a plan for addressing exacerbations should symptoms worsen. The brief article closes with a joint call to action: to diagnose COPD earlier so that we may do all we can to slow progression; the importance of an improved understanding of exacerbations by all persons involved and the adoption of a formal action plan; a focus on flare-up prevention and adherence to evidence-based recommendations; and the value of a true patient-healthcare professional partnership. The brief article will not only be of value to healthcare professionals but also impacted individuals and family members interested in the tips and thoughts of two individuals with very different roles but united viewpoints on AECOPD.

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Linnell J, Hurst, JR. COPD Exacerbations: A Patient and Physician’s Perspective. Adv Ther. 2019.


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  • Great piece. I'm going to embellish it w/my personal experience, and give to my family when we get together on Thanksgiving. Most don't understand this disease and it's ups and downs. My daughter is involved in my care, and listens to my concerns. While my sister will help me whenever I need it - but she primarily feels sorry for me. Compounded by the fact that deep down she feels I caused my own problem as a smoker.
    • Dear edge77, My brother feels that we caused our illness also. I asked him once if it would have been better if we got cancer or we became disabled or some other disease. He didn't have an answer. At least we have this site and we all can help each other. We get it. Stay well and enjoy
      Thanksgiving! Breathe for Today
  • If we did smoke, we did help cause our illness. It is a mental hurtle for sure to get past in terms of guilt, but...we did. We had a choice to smoke or not smoke. We smoked. Every minute I wish I had never smoked. What was I thinking?