Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Physical Assessment

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common lung diseases. It makes it difficult to breathe. There are two main forms of COPD:

  • Chronic bronchitis, which involves a long-term cough with mucus
  • Emphysema, which involves destruction of the lungs over time

Most people with COPD have a combination of both conditions.

Physical Assessment for COPD : Airway 

  • Assess and maintain airway
  • Do the head tilt, chin lift if necessary
  • Use the help of the airway if necessary
  • Consider to be referring to the anesthesiologist

Physical Assessment for COPD : Breathing 

  • Assess oxygen saturation using pulse oximeter
  • Do inspection arterial blood gases to assess pH, PaCO2 and PaO2
  • If the arterial pH less than 7.2, more profitable patients using non-invasive ventilation (NIV) and references must be made in accordance with local policy
  • Control of oxygen therapy to maintain oxygen saturation over 92%
  • Strictly monitoring PaCO2
  • Record the temperature
  • Make checks for signs of:
    • cyanosis
    • clubbing
    • pursed lip breathing
    • movement symmetry
    • intercostal retractions
    • tracheal deviation
  • Listen to the:
    • wheezing
    • crackles
    • decrease in airflow
    • silent chest
  • Make checks to see piston :
    • pneumothorax
    • consolidation
    • signs of heart failure
  • If there is evidence of an infection usually caused by bacterial pathogens including :
    • streptococcus pneumoniae
    • haemophilus influenzae
    • moraxella catarrhalis

Physical Assessment for COPD : Circulation

  • Assess heart rate and rhythm
  • Record blood pressure
  • Check ECG
  • Do intake output, and do a complete blood
  • Pairing IV access

Physical Assessment for COPD : Disability

  • Assess the level of consciousness by using AVPU
  • Patients showed a decrease in consciousness needed medical help immediately and treated in ICU.

Physical Assessment for COPD : Exposure

  • If the patient is stable and health history examinations do other physical examination.

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