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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

End Stage COPD

03/02/2010

Question:

My husband is classified as end stage COPD. His original diagonsis was given 20 years ago, he was totally non-compliant until 2 years ago when he was hospitalized with complications. He does use his oxygen now, 24/7 like he was supposed to have been the last 20 years. It has been increased to 6 liters now, he is inactive, moving only from kitchen table to sofa. walking to the car is a major undertaking. I`ve recently discovered he has taken to drinking again. I realize there is nothing I can do, he is an adult, but, I will be the one to deal with the aftermath. He is totally resistant to suggestions of any sort and I`m sure depressed. He has CHF, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and enlarged heart. The barrel chest is there as well. His carbon dioxide levels are in the 80%s. His lungs do not exchange. Can anyone tell me what I can expect as primary caregiver. Keep in mind I work full time, he is alone during the day.

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness. We are very sorry to learn of your situation. Your questions are all good ones, but the best person to address them is the hospice nurse. Typically, the nurse comes to a patient's home at least once a week (in addition to aides). Schedule some time in advance with the nurse to ensure that you are there when the nurse visits, and have your questions addressed at that time. Best wishes.

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Response by:

Gerene S Bauldoff, RN, PhD, FCCP, FAACVPR, FAAN Gerene S Bauldoff, RN, PhD, FCCP, FAACVPR, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University