Feature Article

Precis of the COPD guidelines (the 'even more concise' guide to COPD)

Ian Yang, Christine McDonald, Eli Dabscheck
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Guidance on the management of COPD in primary care is provided in this summary of recommendations made in the current Australian COPD-X guidelines.

This article was first published in the Medicine Today supplement COPD: behind the guidelines in July 2015 and has been updated in this issue (December 2015).

Key Points

  • COPD, a common, complex, chronic disease, is associated with significant morbidity and mortality.
  • Simple COPD screening devices may help in determining patients who should proceed to formal spirometry, which is essential to confirm a COPD diagnosis.
  • Smoking cessation is key in preventing COPD and improves prognosis.
  • Pharmacological and nonpharmacological therapies can improve symptoms, quality of life and exercise capacity and reduce exacerbations.
  • Comorbidities are common in patients with COPD and require targeted treatment, ideally through an individualised chronic disease care plan.
  • Exacerbations require prompt treatment to prevent progressive functional deterioration and the likelihood of hospitalisation and death.

    Picture credit: © Echo Medical Media