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Nana has progressive COPD

Hi everyone. My name is Amy, I have just joined copd.net in the hope of learning more about COPD and hopefully getting some advice/support from others. I am a Nurse myself, and I can’t help but think there must be more out there that I am unaware of.

My Nana is 82 and has had COPD for a very long time. In 2020 my Nana caught Covid which we now think has made her COPD progress. Her main symptoms are breathlessness, tight chest, coughing up sputum, rattling chest and coughing. For the most part, her oxygen levels are 95% and above. She does not have home oxygen. She takes regular inhalers and carbocisteine. She has recently been referred to a respiratory consultant who sent her off for investigations, she has emphysema.

My Nana is now having regular courses of steroids and antibiotics for flare ups, usually back to back as they don’t tend to help. She has had 2 hospital admissions in the last 4 months. Countless in the last year. She has not seen her consultant since before her last 2 hospital admissions.

I am wondering if anyone else is in a similar situation to my Nana, and if there is anything that has helped you?
Are there any treatments I could discuss with her Consultant? Any new medications out there?

I am grateful for any help and advice.
Thank you, Amy

  1. Hi , welcome to the community! I see has given you some great advice. I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone and this is what we are all here for. I was dx 12 years ago at 39 and can relate with your Nana (My grandkids call me Nana also 😀 ). Best, Jackie (Moderator)


    1. Hi amy, and welcome! You have certainly come to the right place if you are looking to learn more about this disease, COPD. As a nurse, I feel you will be able to learn quickly about what is happening to your Nana. I see my colleague, , has already provided you with several links to various articles which focus on flare-ups, which are also referred to as exacerbations. As you've mentioned, this is something that has affected your Nana on a frequent basis. I do hope you have an opportunity to review the material.
      I also have something to contribute. It sounds like Nana may be having increased exacerbations (of COPD), since she had COVID back in 2020. You may be aware that, for some folks with COVID, they have developed what has been termed 'long COVID' or, 'long-haul COVID'. Generally speaking, this means the COVID symptoms may persist for a longer period of time. These folks tend to recover more slowly from COVID. This may also have a bearing on someone with a diagnosis of COPD, like Nana.
      Do you think this may be what's happening in Nana's case? What do you think of discussing this aspect of COVID and COPD with Nana's medical care team?
      Wishing you well,
      Leon (site moderator COPD.net)

      1. Thank you, do you have part 2 of preventing flare ups?

        1. , we have a lot of great articles on flare-ups you can find them here: https://copd.net/search?s=flare%20up. All the best, Sam S. (COPD.net, team member).

      2. Hi , i'm confident others in our community will chime in but in the meantime here are some articles I think you might find helpful: https://copd.net/clinical/frequent-exacerbations, https://copd.net/clinical/tips-preventing-flare, https://copd.net/clinical/antibiotics-exacerbations, https://copd.net/clinical/prednisone. All the best, Sam S. (COPD.net, team member).

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