Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - Chronic Bronchitis
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is also sometimes known as chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD). It is a broad term that refers to a combination of breathing-related symptoms: chronic cough, coughing up mucus, difficulty breathing after exertion, and a progressive decline in the ability to inhale and exhale. The two major diseases under this disease category are Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema. Since smoking is the primary cause of both, they often develop together and may individuals with COPD have symptoms and characteristics of both. COPD affects an estimated 18 million Americans. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and is expected by 2020 to overtake stroke to become the third leading cause of death.
Home Medical Equipment for Chronic Bronchitis Patients
Patients who suffer from chronic bronchitis often require home respiratory equipment such as nebulizers and home oxygen devices.
Other types of medical equipment, such as bed wedges, hospital beds (patients with COPD often have difficulty breathing while laying flat), bath safety products, ambulation aids, a wheelchair or daily living devices, may become necessary as the result of other causes or as chronic bronchitis causes deterioration of the patient's general health. Since chronic bronchitis often produces a great deal of secretions in the later stages of the disease, a suction machine may be required. More severe cases may require a tracheotomy (a surgically created opening in the neck), nutritional support products, and in certain cases, invasive or non-invasive home mechanical ventilation.