Severe COPD Prognosis
COPD Stage 4
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive disease that typically increases in severity over time. Severe COPD, also caked COPD Stage 4 or end-stage COPD, is the most severe stage in the disease’s progression. When suffering from COPD Stage 4, it is helpful to know the severe COPD prognosis in order to manage the symptoms more effectively.
Lung Capacity in COPD Stage 4
When a person has COPD stage 4, his or her lung capacity is significantly decreased. When measuring lung capacity, the forced expiratory volume (FEV1) is compared to the forced vital capacity (FVC), called the FEV1/FVC ratio. A healthy person has a FEV1/FVC ratio of or around 80 percent. The lower the FEV1/FVC ratio, the more severe the disease. COPD Stage 4 is categorized by a FEV1 test score that is lower than 30 percent.
In order to best treat and maintain COPD, it is important to first understand the various symptoms and treatment options.
Symptoms of COPD Stage 4 are:
-Sputum: coughing up mucus
-Dyspnea: breathing discomfort
-Cyanosis: blueness of the lips or fingernail beds
-Shortness of breath
-Unintended weight loss
-Frequent respiratory infections
-Chronic respiratory failure
How Long Is Left On The Clock?
According to one case study, scientists found that people with COPD had a much increased chance of mortality than those who do not. Using the GOLD System, researchers kept track for years of patients with COPD. The results found that current or ongoing smokers have a shorter life expectancy than patients that quit. In addition to quitting smoking, there are treatment options that a person with COPD can take to be proactive in slowing down the decline in lung function.
COPD Treatment Options
For those who have been diagnosed with COPD, the main goals of treatment are: symptom relief, slow down decline in lung function, improve daily lung function, decrease number of acute episodes (aka COPD exacerbations) and improvement in overall quality of life. Many COPD sufferers use supplemental oxygen along with daily medications to manage symptoms. For those with more developed stages of COPD, more serious measures like a lung transplant or reduction might be an option. There is, however, a minimally invasive, alternative treatment that helps most lung disease sufferers. Stem cell therapy might help slow the development of lung disease and even improve it. Rather than managing symptoms like oxygen and medications, stem cell therapy harnesses your body’s natural healing abilities, essentially healing the lung tissue. While stem cell therapy is not a cure, it is an effective treatment that might provide lung disease sufferers with a much greater quality of life.
Of course, if you are looking for an alternative treatment for COPD, then the Lung Institute might be able to help! If you or someone you love would like know more about treatment options, feel free to contact one of our patient care coordinators today or call (800) 729-3065 today.