The use of non-invasive ventilation in an exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a case study
This article aims to assist nurses and other health professionals to care for patients who have type 2 respiratory failure as a result of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and who require non-invasive ventilation. It outlines findings of a case study that are commonplace in the acute medical setting and aims to highlight important factors that impact on patient care and patient outcome, and to help nursing staff to implement recommended and best practices.
High numbers of patient with an exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) present to emergency assessment units, especially in the winter months (Donaldson and Wedzicha, 2014). Management of these patients will depend on the severity of presentation and is often compromised by the relentless pace and workload of these clinical areas. Such patients may be treated by nurses who do not have a sound knowledge of some of the key aspects of treatment and pathophysiology.
This article explores the care of one such patient, who presented with an exacerbation of COPD, noting his functional status, medical history and symptoms, his respiratory biochemistry and concurrent pathophysiology. It will follow one COPD patient's journey through the acute setting and focuses on decisions made that aimed to improve his condition, and the variables encountered that impacted negatively. The study identifies published best practice, and reveals typical actual practice in order to demonstrate how to improve patient outcomes and safety.
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