COPD testimonials

Patient stories and experiences

Meet Jackie

 

Jackie is part of a growing number of women suffering from severe COPD. In 2000, the number of women dying from this disease surpassed the number of men for the first time, and this trend is expected to continue. Current research supports that the effects of COPD on women are far more detrimental than on men, suggesting gender-related differences in COPD symptoms.¹

COPD patient, Jackie tells us her story
Trilogy ventilator

"I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired."

The debilitating effects of COPD trapped Jackie in her house for more than two years. She was suffering from chronic hypercapnea, hypertension, anxiety, depression and hypoxemia (treated with long-term oxygen therapy). “I was always so afraid I would have a breathing attack or a panic attack in public. I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired. I missed a few of my children's most important functions and my oldest daughter's graduation from college. It's an awful feeling not being able to breathe.”


Hospitalized multiple times for COPD exacerbations, Jackie presented to the emergency room in October 2011 obtunded but responsive. Arterial blood gases performed on initial presentation were: pH 7.19, PCO2 123.7, PO2 88, HCO3 47.2.

 

Noninvasive ventilation was initiated and maintained until her arterial blood gases normalized. Her weight was down to 87 lbs. Upon discharge, the focus was on preventing unplanned hospitalizations, improving her quality of sleep, decreasing dyspnea, and improving her overall energy level and quality of life. Her physician ordered noninvasive ventilation. Because of the higher pressure support needed, the Trilogy100 was prescribed. Her settings were ST mode with AVAPS, target VT 460 (8cc/kg ideal weight) IPAP max 36, IPAP min 13, EPAP 8, RR 12.  

How is Jackie doing today?

She’s gained 50 lbs., sleeps better, has less shortness of breath, and reports having a social life again. “This machine has truly brought back some of the life I never thought I'd get back. I'm not saying this is my one-in-all cure to my disease of COPD, but this has helped my breathing tremendously.”

 

Gender-related differences

Women are more likely to experience the following:

  • More severe shortness of breath
  • More anxiety and depression
  • Lower quality of life
  • Greater risk of malnutrition
  • Higher probability of respiratory deterioration when stopping inhaled steroids
  • Chronic bronchitis

References

1. Everyday Health. http://www.everydayhealth.com Women more likely to die of COPD than men.
http://www.everydayhealth.com/copd/women-more-likely-to-die-of-copd-than-men-6176.aspx
Accessed on the 29th October 2015.
For informational purposes only, not to replace physician's directions.