Reducing risk factors in COPD patients
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common, preventable lung disorder characterised by progressive, poorly reversible airflow limitation. Over the years, COPD has emerged as a growing epidemic all over the world.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common, preventable lung disorder characterised by progressive, poorly reversible airflow limitation. Over the years, COPD has emerged as a growing epidemic all over the world. India is also experiencing a continued increase in the burden of COPD with an estimated prevalence of over 57 million.
COPD patients find it hard to breathe and being a progressive disease means that it gets worse over time. In this disease, less air flows in and out of the air passages in the body because of some particular reasons. Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV) has proven to be an effective way to reduce respiratory distress in patients suffering with COPD. A study by The Lancet Respiratory Medicine states that NIV reduces the risk of death in chronic COPD patients by 76 per cent.
The procedure provides ventilator assistance to lungs without an invasive artificial airway. It facilitates removal of excess carbon dioxide and improves oxygenation of the body by augmenting the patient’s ventilation. NIV helps the patient breathe using a machine attached to a mask that is worn over the face. Usually, this mask is to be worn for a couple of hours in the morning and afternoon and at night for the entire time.
Dr Nagaraj, Consultant, Pulmonogist, Paarthiv Lung Care Center, informs, "NIV has revolutionised the management of COPD and it has proven to be most effective in dealing with exacerbations in COPD patients. NIV is easy, portable and patient friendly. Its use is associated with reduced rates of intubation, reduced length of hospital stay and decline in mortality. NIV has gained wide acceptance in the west as the frontline treatment for patients in moderate or advanced stages of COPD.”
The Indian Chest Society guidelines indicate early use of NIV in management of respiratory failure due to acute exacerbations of COPD. Furthermore, for patients with stable COPD, the guideline state that NIV may be used for patients with recurrent exacerbations who require frequent use of mechanical and non-invasive ventilation during the acute episodes.