Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Physical Assessment

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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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