Assessment of respiratory status | Nursing homework help
Common symptoms associated with an exacerbation of COPD include worsening shortness of breath, increased coughing, chest tightness or pain, fatigue and difficulty sleeping. These can range from mild to severe in intensity depending on the severity of the exacerbation. Other signs to look out for include wheezing, changes in sputum color or consistency, rapid heartbeat and blueness around the lips or fingernails.
In some cases, patients may also experience confusion due to low levels of oxygen in the blood. If this is suspected then medical attention should be sought immediately as it could be life threatening if left untreated. Additionally, those suffering from a COPD exacerbation will likely require more frequent use of their relief medications such as inhalers; however if these treatments are not providing enough relief then they should notify their healthcare provider so that further treatment options can be considered.
By recognizing the common symptoms associated with an exacerbation of COPD early on it allows healthcare providers to intervene sooner and provide appropriate treatments which could help reduce its impact on patient health outcomes. Therefore it is important for individuals living with this condition as well as family members to stay aware of potential warning signs so that prompt action can be taken when necessary.