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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

COPD & mild high altitude

06/17/2008

Question:

I am considering a train tour at Copper Canyon Mexico with minimal exercise/walking/climbing. The highest altitude may be around 7000ft.

I am diagnosed with COPD/asthma but it seems to be under control with Advair,& Spiriva. Rarely is bronchodialator needed. I have been fairly inactive for several months (foot problem) but am able to restart treadmill exercise.

This trip will not be until 2009.

What advise can you give me regarding this trip considering the COPD.

Thank you.

Answer:

Hello,

This question should definitely be posed to your treating physician. Being in the best possible condition will help your body use oxygen more efficiently. We encourage our patients to be enrolled in a Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, if at all possible. Your oxygen saturation could be a consideration since you will be at 7000ft. Depending on your oxygen saturation at rest and with activity, a high altitude hypoxia test in determining any oxygen needs at the higher altitude.

Make sure you bring your controller and emergency medications with you and have your emergency inhaler with you at all times and be in the best possible physical condition before your trip.

For more information:

Go to the COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Gretchen   Whitby, APRN Gretchen Whitby, APRN
Nurse Practitioner of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University

Phillip T Diaz, MD Phillip T Diaz, MD
Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University