COPD Stage 4 – Very Severe
At this stage you know that you are diagnosed with COPD, and you might be diagnosed with any of the four stages of COPD before you are diagnosed with Stage 4 COPD, also known as terminal COPD, In Stage 4, the circumstances became so severe that the sufferers live effectively with 30% or less normal lung function.
Also See: How are the Stages of COPD Determined
What Are The Symptoms For Stage 4 COPD?
Many of the symptoms that you present in the early stages, such as cough, mucus, shortness of breath and fatigue, are likely to worsen.
Just breathe takes a lot of effort. You might feel out of breath without doing anything. Embarrassments can occur more often, and they tend to be more serious.
You can also get a condition called chronic respiratory failure. That’s when not enough oxygen moves from your lungs into your bloodstream, or when your lungs do not take enough carbon dioxide from your blood. Sometimes both happen.
How Does My Doctor Check For Stage 4 COPD?
The diagnosis of stage 4 COPD can be done by you can get some tests. The first is the same spirometry test used in the early stages. Your doctor may take a measurement called “forced expiratory volume for one second” (FEV1). In Stage 4 COPD, FEV1 is less than 30%. You could still be at stage 4 if your FEV1 is higher.
The doctors can also check for chronic respiratory failure with these:
Arterial gas test
This helps to check the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood.
A small sensor on your finger or ear tells you how much oxygen you have in your blood.
If your FEV1 is less than 50%, but you also have chronic respiratory failure, you can have stage 4.
How Stage 4 COPD Is Treated?
You are using the same treatments from earlier stages, although you may need different doses or need some of them most often:
- Short-term and long-term bronchodilators
- Steroids and antibiotics
- Pulmonary rehabilitation plan
Other treatment options
Surgery can also be an option. You want to get that if the drugs do not work for you. And even then, he helps a small number of people.
Pulmonary Volume Reduction Surgery:
For some people, this operation to remove the upper lungs improves breathing and quality of life. To get it, you must have a strong heart and enough healthy lung tissue. You must also stop smoking and show that you can stick to your pulmonary rehabilitation plan.
That’s when you get a healthy lung from a donor. It involves serious risks. For example, your body may reject the new lung. Doctors usually suggest that this surgery for people who have a lot of lung damage and no other health problems.
Other Care Options:
You may want to talk to your doctor about palliative care, which focuses on quality of life and relieves pain or other symptoms. You work with a team of doctors, nurses and social workers:
- Set goals for what you want from your care
- Help you make medical decisions based on these goals
- Get support for your body, mind and emotions, such as breathing exercises and how to treat anxiety
Meet the Needs of Family Members and Caregivers:
It is also good to talk with your friends, family and the medical team about what you want about end of life care. It may not be an easy topic to open on, but studies show that the sooner you do it, the better care you will get. This can be comforting for you and your loved ones.