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Rescue packs for COPD: problem or panacea?

Beverley Bostock discusses the rationale for offering rescue packs as part of self-management of COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a condition which is associated with symptoms of breathlessness, cough and sputum.1 For many people who have been diagnosed with COPD, there is also a risk of experiencing an exacerbation of their symptoms which will require additional acute treatment to supplement their usual therapy. In the spirit of supporting self-management, people living with COPD (PLWCOPD) may be advised to keep a ‘rescue pack’ of oral corticosteroids and antibiotics to start if they develop symptoms of an exacerbation. In this article, the rationale for offering rescue packs will be considered, along with recommendations relating to the management of acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD) and the use of rescue packs.

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