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Case review

Stepping patients through COPD management

Kerry Hancock, PETER A. FRITH

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Abstract

A 74-year-old man with a history of inhaler use presents for evaluation of his medications. A diagnosis of COPD is confirmed. Current Australian guidelines are available to guide assessment and treatment of patients with respiratory conditions.

Key Points

  • In patients with stable COPD, the severity of airflow limitation should be measured by spirometry.
  • The next step in assessing a patient with COPD is to ascertain how greatly the symptoms impact on their activity and quality of life.
  • A stepwise introduction of a drug from one of the two classes of long-acting bronchodilators – long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs) or long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs) – is encouraged.
  • A combination long-acting bronchodilator (LAMA plus LABA) would be the next step in treatment for patients with severe symptoms who fail to respond satisfactorily to a single bronchodilator, or who have a history of exacerbations.

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© AFRICA STUDIO/STOCK.ADOBE.COM MODEL USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY
© AFRICA STUDIO/STOCK.ADOBE.COM MODEL USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY