Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

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The most prevalent Chronic Disease in the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region currently is Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disease (COPD). There are a number of resources available to you, and your Health Care Provider, to diagnose and manage COPD. Here is a six-step process to help guide you in the right direction.

Prevention

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) makes breathing hard. It slowly damages the airways of the lungs, causing them to swell, become blocked, and lose their elasticity.
 
The best thing you can do to help prevent and slow the progression of COPD is to stop smoking. Talk to your healthcare provider to help you quit.
 
Here is a list of  physicians or nurse practitioners accepting new patients and a list of smoking cessation pharmacists by the network to help with coaching and support.
 
If you are interested in Traditional Services to help you quit smoking, contact  Eagle Moon Health Office.

If you are a Health Care Provider wanting to refer a patient into the Pulmonary Function Support Program, please use this form.

Targeted Screening

  • Are you aged 40 or older?
  • Are your currently a smoker or have you smoked in the past?
  • Do you cough regularly?
  • Do you cough up phlegm regularly?
  • Do even simple chores make you short of breath?
  • Do you wheeze when you exert yourself (exercise, go up stairs?)
  • Do you get many cold and do your colds usually last longer than your friend's colds?


If you answered yes to any of the above questions, see your Doctor or Nurse Practitioner about getting a Spirometry Test.

If you are a Health Care Provider, please feel free to print off and hang the screening poster in your clinic space.

Testing

The only way to truly diagnose COPD is with a Spirometry test. This breathing test is quick and easy and can be performed close to where you live.

If you would like to learn more about Spirometry testing, this video from the Lung Association will answer many of your questions.

Diagnosis

Your Physician or Nurse Practitioner will provide your diagnosis of COPD or other lung impairment.

Clinical Management

There are a number of ways that COPD can be managed.

  1. Smoking Cessation: This is the number one way to help improve lung function and breathing with any lung impairment, not just COPD.

  2. Rehabilitation: There are  COPD Rehabilitation and  Live Well programs available throughout the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region. If you need help accessing these programs, please call the Primary Health Care Navigator at 306-766-6280.

  3. Vaccinations:  Immunization against the flu and pneumonia will also help your long term health as both the flu and pneumonia can have serious implications on your lung function.

  4. Medication Management: Medication is an important part of your COPD treatment plan. Your Health Care Provider and your Pharmacist will help determine the right medication for you.

  5. Oxygen Therapy: Saskatchewan residents may be eligible for the SAIL oxygen therapy program under the Ministry of health. The Lung Association has information on the  SAIL Home Oxygen Program

  6. Self-Management: Managing your COPD at home is critical in staying healthy and avoiding trips to the hospital. There is a  COPD Action Plan that you can build with your Health Care Provider to help you understand how to manage your COPD at home and what to do if you experience a COPD flair up. You can also access support via the Primary Health Care Navigator at 306-766-6280.

  7. Advanced Shortness of Breath and Palliative Care: Your health care provider can provide information and support to help mamange your COPD in later stages.

Follow-up

Once you have completed your testing, diagnosis and are managing your COPD, your Health Care Provider will continue to follow up with you on a regular basis. Please be sure to keep these appointments as they are critical in maintaining your health and keeping you out of the hospital.

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