June COPD Update

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June COPD Update


In a recent Stats Canada article1, 13% of Canadians aged 35 to 79 had a measured airflow obstruction consistent with COPD. This is more than 3 times greater than the rate of self-reported diagnosis.

The Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR) is working in collaboration with our University of Saskatchewan (U of S) colleagues and the Section of Respirology to roll out a COPD Clinical Pathway based on the Canadian Thoracic Society guidelines for COPD management and using best clinical guidelines in the areas of prevention, targeted screening, testing, clinical management, rehabilitation and follow-up.


Since smoking is the leading cause of COPD, a Smoking Cessation program with PACT (Partnership to Assist with Cessation of Tobacco) trained community pharmacists have just launched. Health Care Providers now have access to an updated list of PACT trained pharmacists in the RQHR who are interested in providing smoking cessation support to patients. The list can be found atwww.rqhealth.caVBI.

Targeted Screening:

Please remember to consider spirometry to rule out COPD in any current smoker or ex-smoker over the age of 40 who has any of the following:

  • regular cough
  • phlegm production
  • gets tired easily
  • wheezing or frequent respiratory tract infections


Mainpro Accredited Spirometry interpretation courses have been arranged by the RQHR for family physicians and nurse practitioners free of charge. Anyone wishing to attend future courses should forward their details to Colleen Gaudio atColleen.Gaudio@rqhealth.ca with the subject line: COPD Course.


We are helping to assist both patients and their health care providers with the diagnosis of COPD. Clients can now access spirometry testing in their neighborhood.  RT’s and RN’s are offering spirometry testing in community Primary Health Care Networks and in some family physician practices. If your patient is home-bound, we can also visit your patient in their home to perform spirometry testing (Urban only).

Clinical Management:

Optimal Pharmacotherapy and COPD rehabilitation are key elements in reducing exacerbations and helping patients live an active life.

COPD Rehabilitation programs have started in both urban and rural networks with tremendous success. RT's and RN’s are actively working with, teaching and following up with patients in real time. When needed, RT's and RN’s are also connecting patients to additional services such as the Seniors House Calls program in hopes of avoiding a hospital admission or trip to the ED, in conjunction with their family physicians.

Follow Up:

A central referral intake line has been set up for COPD services including spirometry testing, COPD rehab, education including inhaler technique training, etc.  Referrals can be made by calling 306-766-6280 or using this referral form. 

There is now a Registered Nurse working at the RGH and Pasqua Hospitals connecting with patients who have suspected or confirmed COPD.  She is coordinating a high-quality care transition to their family physicians or other providers in community and assisting to navigate patients to other services they may need such as COPD rehabilitation, education, etc.

 In collaboration with the U of S, the section of Respirology and family physicians, the COPD team has made many strides in the last year and we are just starting to see the positive impacts of the hard work. If you have suggestions and or questions about COPD Program Services in the RQHR, please contact Patricia Comfort at 306-519-9765 or Dr. Rashaad Hansia at 306-766-7375.


  1. Statistics Canada Health Fact Sheet, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Canadians, 2009 to 2011http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-625-x/2012001/article/11709-eng.htm