- If you have already been diagnosed with COPD, quitting smoking is the most important thing you can do to manage and reduce your symptoms.
- You are four times more likely to quit for good with support. Support with stopping smoking is available from your GP practice or One You Plymouth Stop Smoking Advisors
- See here for further information on why quitting smoking in COPD is important
- Link to 'One you Plymouth' stop smoking leaflet for healthcare professionals
Western Locality: COPD
Including: COPD Self-Management Plan, Rescue packs and COPD information for the healthcare professionals
Support with quitting smoking
COPD Self-Management Plan
The aim of this Self-management plan is to help you have better control of your chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It will enable you to monitor your symptoms and to know what to do if you have an exacerbation. An exacerbation is a time when COPD symptoms deteriorate for example you are more breathless or coughing more mucus than normal. If you do not have a self-management plan booklet you should discuss this with your practice COPD nurse.
- If you experience frequent exacerbations of COPD (a time when COPD symptoms deteriorate for example you are more breathless or coughing more mucus than normal) you may benefit from having a COPD Rescue Pack. This contains a supply of standby medications to start if your COPD deteriorates before you are able to see your GP. This means you can start treatment quickly.
- If you experience frequent exacerbations but do not have a rescue pack you should discuss this with your COPD nurse.
- If you start your rescue pack, you must contact your GP or COPD nurse as soon as possible to inform them that you are less well and request a replacement pack for next time you need it.
Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR)
- Pulmonary rehabilitation is a programme or exercise and education for people with a long-term lung condition
- There’s evidence that it improves your ability to walk further, helps you feel less tired and breathless doing day-to-day activities and reduces your risk of ending up in hospital.
- Completing a course of PR is a good way to learn how to exercise safely and at the right level for you. Most people enjoy the course. It builds confidence and it’s great fun meeting others in a similar situation.
- Ask your COPD nurse about pulmonary rehabilitation at your annual review.
- See here for further information about PR
Annual Flu vaccination
- People with COPD have a high risk of developing complications from influenza and are recommended to have annual influenza vaccinations
- Evidence shows that influenza vaccination in people with COPD reduces the risk for hospitalisation for pneumonia and death
- Annual vaccinations are available September to February
- Using your inhalers regularly and with the correct technique is an important way to help manage COPD symptoms.
- There are many different types of inhalers and using them with the correct technique is important to ensure you get the most benefit from the inhalers
- For further resources on inhaler technique see here
- For patients you may want to consider an App for your iPhone or Android phone which shows you videos of correct inhaler technique and gives you reminders when it is time to take your inhalers.
Nutrition, exercise and healthy weight
- If you have COPD, being active can help to improve your quality of life and help you manage your condition. Being active improves your wellbeing and confidence your ability to resist infections the strength of your breathing muscles, heart and circulation.
- If you have COPD it is important to eat well and aim to stay a healthy weight. If you are overweight weight loss can help to reduce breathlessness.
- One You Plymouth offers support for adults who want help with weight loss,
- If you have unexplained weight loss you should discuss this with your GP promptly.
- Link to 'One you Plymouth' leaflet for healthcare professionals
COPD information for healthcare professionals
These downloads are for healthcare professionals:
- Pharmacies: Information on how you can help patients with their rescue packs
- GP': Leaflet on how to support your patients with their stand-by medication