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The major risk factor for developing COPD is cigarette smoking, thereby making it a preventable disease. According to the CDC, nearly 75% of COPD cases are ascribed to cigarette smoking, while 15% comes from occupation chemical exposures and genetic factors. Exposures to indoor and outdoor air pollutants, respiratory tract infections, aging, and hereditary are also significant for developing COPD. Smoking cessation in all stages of COPD is the single most effective and cost-effective way to prevent and reduce the risk of developing COPD. Smoking cessation in COPD patients can improve the return of lung function. Educating and encouraging our teenagers and young adults to avoid smoking initiation and cessation will reduce the risk of developing COPD. According to the CDC, regardless of cigarette smoking, if an individual has prolonged exposure to various dust, vapors, irritants, fumes, and gasses in the workplace, COPD can result. Therefore, reducing workplace exposure to dust and chemicals through public health programs and policies is crucial to preventing COPD. Also, reducing other indoor and outdoor air pollutants and early treatment and control of asthma is critically important in preventing the development of COPD. Management of COPD includes the use of drug therapy like bronchodilators and corticosteroids; supplemental oxygen therapy to reduce or end symptoms and complications. The purpose of treatment and management is to increase the capacity to exercise, prevent disease progression, improve overall health, reduce exacerbations and complications, and reduce mortality (CDC, 2011). Nursing interventions using evidence-based practice focus on promoting patient participation in care, health education, smoking cessation, monitoring nutritional needs, and coping with illness, exercise training programs, and health status to increase survival.

 

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