Breathing in and out seems like a easy, normal, day to day task -unless every breath you take is a struggle. With chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), breathing can be so restricted that tasks that many of us take for granted, like walking to the mailbox, are a major undertaking.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of COPD?
At one time or another, someone with COPD can experience any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Worsening shortness of breath
- Worsening cough
- Change in mucus production
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain or tightness
- Decrease in alertness or greater confusion
- New difficulty performing daily activity
- Nausea or vomiting with poor appetite
- Feel like your medication is not helping you
- Increase in weight of 3 pounds in one day or 5 pounds in one week
- Swelling of feet, ankles or belly
- Poor sleep
EZ Breathing Program
Here at Mesun Health Services, Inc. we recognize the unique needs of patients with a chronic illness, end stage respiratory illness such as COPD. Our EZ Breathing home program was specifically developed to meet those needs and help patients decrease unwanted, expensive hospitalizations.
Research published in the Journal of the COPD Foundation showed that one in five patients with COPD is readmitted to the hospital within 30 days. It is estimated that approximately half of the estimated $50 billion in annual COPD healthcare expenses is due to the costs linked to multiple hospitalizations. Many risk factors cause hospital readmission including medication management issues, lack of follow up, social and economic issues, and medical, psychological and emotional challenges.
Our EZ Breathing home program includes the following for patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease:
- Initial and ongoing home education is provided to patients and families to assist in controlling COPD symptoms. Patients can therefore remain more comfortable at wherever they call home.
- Check-in calls are made to find out how patients are feeling, if there’s been any change in symptoms or if they have any additional needs.
- The nursing team verifies that COPD prescribed medications are taken correctly.
- Patients receive a color-coded tool that helps them “grade” their symptoms so they know what a good day looks like versus when they need to be cautious or call Mesun Health Services, Inc..
- Patients have 24/7/365 access to the Hospice Nurse Triage Line for immediate help with any change in their symptoms, such as difficulty performing daily activities, increased shortness of breath and tightness in the chest.
In addition, our hospice nurses are equipped to anticipate the needs and symptoms of these patients.
Please call today for more information on how Mesun Health Services, Inc. and our EZ Breathing home program can help you or a loved one with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
What are Guidelines for Eligibility?
One of the qualifying factors for hospice, a patient is expected to live six months or less if the disease follows its normal course. For CHF patients, however, there is often confusion and a lack of understanding about when to refer a patient to hospice. That uncertainty stems from not knowing what symptoms a patient should be exhibiting to be considered eligible. Some common symptoms that may qualify a patient for hospice include:
- Angina at rest despite maximum medical therapy or
- NYHA Class IV CHF
- Supporting evidence
- Treatment- resistant symptomatic dysrhythmias
- History of unexplained or cardiac embolism
- CVA secondary to cardiac embolism
- History of cardiac arrest or resuscitation
- O2 saturation < 88%
- Frequent Hospitalizations
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Co-morbidities such as lung disease, dementia or kidney disease
- Ejection fraction < 20%
Hospice can improve the quality of life for patients and provide much needed family support. This valuable service often goes overlooked for CHF patients.