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Manage your Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease -COPD- with help from Griffin Hospital

Manage your COPD with help from Griffin Hospital

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can be a debilitating chronic illness if it's not managed correctly or consistently.  The COPD Prescription for Wellness Program is part of the Griffin Hospital’s Center for Prevention and Lifestyle Management, which offers health education, support and coaching to help prevent and manage chronic diseases and take active steps to increase vitality.

What is The COPD Prescription for Wellness Program?

Griffin Hospital’s free COPD Prescription for Wellness Program helps those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) stay well by giving them a better understanding their condition and by equipping them with skills and strategies to stay healthy and avoid preventable hospital admissions. Our staff will provide you and your family with all of the necessary tools and information to help you maintain your best level of health.

Benefits of the COPD Prescription for Wellness Program 

Our highly trained and experienced registered nurses work closely with your physician, providing updates, if necessary, after each visit and collaborating with your physician to decide the best course of action to help you maintain your health. We provide free weekly health screenings, personalizing your care to meet your needs, and helping you achieve your individual health goals.Prescription for Wellness and other COPD resources

Learn more about the COPD Prescription for Wellness Program or call to make your appointment today. 203-732-7200

Additional COPD resources at Griffin Hospital

  • Live Well Chronic Disease Management Workshop
  • Cardiac Rehab/Fitness Center
  • Pharmacy
  • Social Worker
  • Health Resource Center
  • Dietary
  • Spiritual Care

COPD: What you should know

What is COPD?

COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is a lung disease. It happens when your lungs are damaged. COPD is a name that covers lung diseases with one thing in common – breathing problems that get worse over time. There is no cure but there are things you can do to feel better and prevent exacerbations (flare-ups) Damage occurs as a result of irritation of your lungs over a long time, due to smoking, air pollution and Industrial Pollution.

Do you have COPD?

Answer the questions below with a yes or no if the symptom is not getting better and is not a part of the normal aging process.

  1. Do you have trouble breathing or problems “catching your breath”?
  2. Are you wheezing often?
  3. Do you have a cough that doesn’t go away?
  4. Are you coughing up mucous?
  5. Do you have shortness of breath, especially when walking or exercising?

If you said YES to one or more of the above questions, please contact and be examined by your Primary Care Physician Or Lung Specialist.

There are 2 types of COPD

Chronic bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis is the inflammation of the linking of the airways or bronchial tubes. Chronic bronchitis restricts air flow to and from the lungs on a constant basis, causing heavy coughing and phlegm. Acute bronchitis, on the other hand, is usually accompanied by a cold and clears up in one or two weeks and is not considered COPD.

Emphysema
Emphysema affects the air sacs in the lungs. This reduces the surface area of the lungs and in term, the amount of oxygen that reaches the bloodstream. As the disease progresses, it becomes more difficult to remove the air in the lungs.

What are the Symptoms of COPD?

  • A flare-up (exacerbation) is worsening of usual symptoms: 
  • Shortness of breath that gets worse with normal activities and does not improve with rest. 
  • Wheezing or coughing more than usual.
  • A cough that is worse in the morning and in the damp cold weather.
  • An increase in the amount or thickness of phlegm or yellow mucous coughed up.
  • A fast heartbeat
  • Feeling drowsy/dizzy or not able to think clearly
  • Fever of 100 degrees
  • Blue or gray fingertips or lips

During your Hospital Stay

During your stay with us at Griffin Hospital, we will help you by:

  • Giving medication so you can breathe better.
  • Treating an infection if it’s present through medication administration.
  • Helping you to be more physically active by working with our Physical Therapy Department if ordered by your physician.
  • Helping you to quit smoking & avoid second hand smoke, referring you to our Smoking Cessation Program
  • Preventing complications by teaching you what to avoid (such as outdoor & indoor pollutants like wood stoves and fumes
  • Preventing the condition from getting worse by taking your medicines as ordered and following your after-hospital care plan.

How Do I Take Care of Myself?

COPD CANNOT BE CURED, but it can be managed effectively. Taking good care of yourself is the best way to slow the progress of the disease.

  • Avoid tobacco smoke. If you smoke, it’s never too late to quit and the health benefits from quitting are enormous.
  • Avoid exposure to dust, fumes or chemicals.
  • Obtain a flu shot yearly and a pneumonia shot if directed by your care provider.
  • Wash your hands with soap frequently.
  • Avoid people who are sick.
  • Understand and take your medications as directed by your physician.
  • Diet and Nutrition
  • Eat a healthy diet with enough calories. Check with your nurse or dietitian for further instructions.
  • Eat smaller meals more often. Have about 5-6 small meals each day.
  • Eat slowly and talk less when you’re eating.
  • Fruits, vegetables and protein foods such as meat, fish, eggs and milk are good for you.
  • Sit in a chair that allows for good posture while you eat like a straight-back chair.
  • Avoid activity or exercise for an hour after you eat.
  • Drink enough fluids.  This helps keep mucous (phlegm) loose or thin.

Diet and Nutrition

Griffin Hospital offers diet and nutrition consultations with registered dietitians who can discuss your medical needs and help you determine the best food and nutrition plan for you. Learn more and schedule your appointment today.

Activity and Exercise

Exercise will help you cope with shortness of breath, increase your energy and make you feel better.  Griffin Hospital offers medically supervised fitness programs. Learn more about the Wellness for Life Program and schedule and appointment to speak with an Exercise Physiologist today.

Simple exercises you can do at home:

  • Pursed lip breathing. Breathe in through your nose. Then breathe out (exhale) through pursed (like a whistle) lips.
  • Pacing and stopping to rest when needed
  • Your doctor may tell you to use a short acting inhaler called a bronchodilator before exercise.

Activity:

  • Conserve Your Energy
  • Learn to rest in between activities.
  • Walk at a slow and comfortable pace.
  • Use bath stool/chair while bathing or consider sponge bathing.
  • Dress while sitting instead of standing.
  • Ask for help when you need it and know what to call your doctor.

Prevent your COPD Symptoms from Getting Worse

  • Do not smoke
  • Stay away from people who have flu or cold symptoms.
  • Avoid extreme weather – very hot or very cold.
  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Contact your doctor if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects.
  • Keep a list of all the medicines, vitamins and herbs you take.
  • Include the amounts and when and why you take them.
  • Bring the list to all doctor appointments and carry it with you in case of an emergency.
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