COPD Stage 4

About this stage in the disease process

About COPD Stage 4

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease  (COPD) is a progressive disease that typically increases in severity over time. COPD Stage 4 is the most severe stage in the disease’s progression. This stage is also called very severe COPD, or end-stage COPD.

Lung Capacity in COPD Stage 4 

A major sign that a person has COPD is the capacity of his or her lungs is decreased. Due to constant inflammation of the airways, COPD patients struggle to breathe properly. They have difficulty blowing out air with any force, and the overall volume of air they can hold in their lungs is diminished. When measuring lung capacity, a common measurement  is a combination of the forced expiratory volume (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) tests called the FEV1/FVC ratio.  A healthy person has a FEV1/FVC ratio of or around 80 percent. Thus the lower the FEV1/FVC ratio the more significant the disease.

COPD Stage 4 is categorized by a FEV1 test score that is lower than 30 percent. If they also have chronic respiratory failure, patients with as much as 50 percent FEV1/FVC ratio may develop COPD Stage 4.

Symptoms of COPD Stage 4 are: 

  • Chronic coughing
  • Sputum: coughing up mucus
  • Dyspnea: breathing discomfort
  • Cyanosis: blueness of the lips or fingernail beds
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Chronic respiratory failure

Treatment of COPD Stage 4 

There is no cure for COPD Stage 4, but the following treatments can help manage the disease:

  • Short-acting bronchodilator
  • Long-acting bronchodilator
  • Long-term oxygen
  • Glucocorticosteroids
  • Smoking cessation  and monitoring environment to reduce airborne particles
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation class
  • Surgery

If you would like to find out more about our available treatment options for end-stage COPD, please contact one of our patient care coordinators today at888-745-6697to schedule a free consultation.

* Every patient is given a Patient Satisfaction Survey shortly after treatment. Responses to the 11-question survey are aggregated to determine patient satisfaction with the delivery of treatment.

^ Quality of Life Survey data measured the patient’s self-assessed quality of life and measurable quality of improvement at three months of COPD patients.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

As required by Texas state law, the Lung Institute Dallas Clinic has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from MaGil IRB, now Chesapeake IRB, which is fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP), for research protocols and procedures. The Lung Institute has implemented these IRB approved standards at all of its clinics nationwide. Approval indicates that we follow rigorous standards for ethics, quality, and protections for human research.

Each patient is different. Results may vary.