If your parent has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and you are helping to organise their health care, then this checklist summarises some of the issues you might want to discuss with them.
COPD is a long term respiratory condition characterised by airflow obstruction. It is usually progressive although there might be no change for several months. It is predominantly caused by smoking although other factors such as occupational exposure to harmful dust and chemicals can also play a part.
COPD symptoms include breathlessness, long‑lasting cough, coughing up phlegm, frequent winter 'bronchitis' and wheezing.
People living with COPD often suffer from exacerbations - periods during which symptoms worsen. The typical features of an exacerbation are worsening breathlessness, cough, increased sputum production and change in colour of sputum.
The checklist is not a substitute for medical advice - always seek professional help. Remember healthcare professionals will not share information about a patient unless they have been given permission to do so.