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COPD Management

Management increasingly aims at the quality of life and independence of affected individuals.

The management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) consists of reducing symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease, in addition to reducing hospitalisations and exacerbations of the condition. COPD has no cure and management is increasingly aimed at the quality of life and independence of affected individuals.

Different ways to manage COPD

The management strategy is to control symptoms, reduce the frequency and severity of exacerbations, and reduce the risk of hospitalisation. Before the respiratory failure phase, therapeutic management is based on the following factors:

  • Quit Smoking
    The first factor in preventing the progression of the disease

  • Practice Physical Activity
    Physical activity and weight monitoring

  • Get Vaccinated
    Flu and pneumococcal vaccination to prevent lung infections

  • Respiratory Rehabilitation
    Is indicated in some conditions

  • Tips to manage COPD
    LTOT helps to reduce COPD symptoms

More about Respiratory Rehabilitation (Pulmonary Rehabilitation)

It is indicated in cases of dyspnea (feeling short of breath) or when the person has a decrease in daily activities and exercise intolerance . In these conditions, respiratory (pulmonary) rehabilitation brings many benefits : it improves quality of life, providing greater tolerance to effort, reduces dyspnea, anxiety and even depression associated with COPD, in addition to reducing the number of hospitalisations.

Respiratory rehabilitation is based on comprehensive care by a multidisciplinary team. A series of 12 to 20 sessions is organised, including physical activity (weight training, stress exercises), respiratory physiotherapy and therapeutic education. 

Respiratory rehabilitation brings many benefits

When COPD progresses to chronic respiratory failure...

When COPD progresses to chronic respiratory failure and constitutes a disabling condition for the person, the physician may prescribe long-term home oxygen therapy . At this advanced stage, emphysema in the lungs leads to blood oxygenation problems. Unable to guarantee gas exchange with inspired air, the alveoli no longer allow the delivery of oxygen to the body (hypoxemia).

Long-term oxygen therapy treatment (+/- LTOT) can help maintain normal blood oxygen levels by administering O² enriched air from oxygen cylinders or oxygen concentrator sources.

COPD involves comprehensive multidisciplinary care and requires the co-ordination of different health and social care professionals.

Oxygen therapy


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6. OMS. Bronchopneumopathie chronique obstructive (BPCO). Aide mémoire N°315, octobre 2014. Disponible sur; consulté le 05/11/2014