Recommendations for the management of

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

What is COPD?

COPD, a respiratory disorder largely caused by smoking, is characterized by progressive, partially reversible airway obstruction and lung hyperinflation, systemic manifestations, and increasing frequency and severity

of exacerbations.

This action plan is a written contract between you and your doctor to give you firm direction in how you will manage

your COPD flare-ups. This action plan will help you and your doctor to quickly recognize and treat flare ups to allow

Lignes directrices you to aggressively manage these flare-ups and prevent further deterioration in your lungs and your health.

canadiennes en santé respiratoire

A COPD flare up is most commonly characterized by changes in your sputum and/or an increase in your shortness of breath. It can sometimes occur after you get a cold or flu, get (or feel) run down or are exposed to air pollution. They may also occur during changes in the weather.

Before or during a flare up you may notice changes in your mood such as feeling down or anxious. Some people have low energy or fatigue before and during a COPD flare up. Flare-ups cause symptoms, which include cough, wheezing, sputum, & shortness of breath.

Your flare-up action plan is to be used only for COPD flare-ups. Remember there are other reasons you may get short of breath such as pneumonia or heart problems. If you develop shortness of breath and you do not have symptoms of a COPD flare-up, see a doctor.


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