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COPD patients are at special risk for severe outcomes if they become infected with the new coronavirus

By Shaniqua Williams

Posted on March 18th, 2020

Researchers have identified groups who are at high risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 infection when the virus is circulating in their community. They defined "high-risk" using the latest information from the CDC, which refers to adults ages 60 and older, along with those who have cancer, heart disease, or COPD.

Based on existing information and current outcomes, some people are more at risk than others of more severe forms of COVID-19 infection. These include patients with a collection of obstructive lung diseases that cause blocked airways and make breathing difficult.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema is a chronic inflammatory condition that mainly affects middle-aged or older adults who smoke. Exposure to hazardous mineral fibers such as asbestos can increase a person's risk of developing the condition.

It is important that those living with COPD and their caregivers are well-informed about the novel coronavirus and take appropriate steps to avoid and prevent infection.

For COPD patients the consequences of COVID-19 infection are potentially more serious

In COPD, the inflammation of the small airways and destruction of the lung parenchyma reduces airflow through the bronchial tubes making it difficult to move air in and out of the lungs. The inflammation and irritation of the bronchial tubes make the nerves in the lungs very sensitive.

Lower respiratory tract infections, both acute and chronic may be responsible for up to 70 percent of the incidence of worsened COPD. Although people with underlying health conditions, including COPD, are at no greater risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 than others, they are more likely to experience serious complications if they become infected. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia - an inflammatory condition that can range from mild to severe. Pneumonia is particularly dangerous for people with COPD because it causes an increased risk of respiratory failure - a condition in which not enough oxygen passes from your lungs into your blood.

In patients with COPD, pneumonia can cause deprivation of oxygen (hypoxia), which can lead to many serious, sometimes life-threatening complications like:

  • Damage to kidneys
  • Acute respiratory failure
  • Irreversible brain damage
  • Heart failure

Currently, there is no cure for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but treatment can help you obtain better control of the symptoms. If your primary care pharmacy runs out of your COPD medications, we highly recommend checking with your healthcare provider for alternative medications. Also, if you have COPD and develop emergency warning signs of COVID-19 infection, you will need to self-isolate and phone your GP immediately. Follow the instructions you are given.

We want to make sure COPD patients and their caregivers are well-informed about this virus

As the number of people and countries affected by this new virus has spread, much misleading information and false claims appeared. These unverifiable rumors caught on amid the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic led to confusion among many Americans who don't know how seriously to take them.

Since developments are fast-breaking, we know it's particularly important to rely on experts who have a mission to inform and protect the public, such as:

We help people receive compensation for respiratory disorders caused by asbestos exposure

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a major cause of disability and early death. If you were diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and held down a job that involved handling asbestos-containing materials, you should seek legal advice about your entitlement to compensation. With the help of a specialized attorney, you will recover the maximum compensation you are eligible for.

They will promptly evaluate your situation and begin preparing your claim for submission to the asbestos trust funds of the companies which exposed you to asbestos, as well as to the VA if you are a veteran who was exposed to asbestos during military service. It is important to keep in mind that, in order to qualify for compensation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asbestos fibers must be present in your lungs. Our medical specialists offer free of charge asbestos screening to everyone with a history of asbestos exposure. They will carefully examine your chest X-ray to determine whether there are asbestos fibers in your lungs. If there are, our attorneys will help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your physical and emotional distress. Please contact our law firm today and we will gladly answer all your questions and address all your concerns.