HCA/240 Matthew Hoffman “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung condition that may result in severe morbidity and includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or sometimes both. It is primarily linked with current or former smokers and is characterized by a loss of lung function over time, making it more difficult for someone to breathe and limiting personal activities, ultimately leading to decreased quality of life”. (Barrett, 2008). “One of the most important things regarding COPD is early identification,” says Barrett. Stressing awareness and early patient identification is important. That way, patients can start treatment before the disease progresses to a more severe stage. That has been a major part of the intervention and a very successful part as well. ” Educating students at an earlier age starting in the middle schools will provide an early intervention on stopping COPD in the future of our children. The new program for the Public Awareness against COPD for our children is the best place to start.
For this age group the children are impressionable and will try new things just because of peer pressure. Barrett explains, “For years, COPD has been lumped in with other respiratory diseases, and we believe it is important to address it separately. The treatment regimens are different; the way it is diagnosed is different. That is why it is one of our primary goals to create an awareness of what COPD is and how it is different from other respiratory diseases. When we look at children with asthma we find that at a certain age the damage to their lungs is already starting, if they choose to start smoking or the parents do not take step to take care of their child’s asthma that damage can result in COPD later in life. According to Garro and Klein, “The time point at which irreversible pulmonary damage begins may not be easy to determine. For example, in asthma, evidence suggests that this process may begin in children aged < 3 years.
A prospective cohort study that followed children from birth showed that, in children who had wheezing episodes before age of 3 years, deficits in lung growth were present at the age of 6 years and persisted into adolescence. In contrast, children whose asthma presented after the age of 3 years did not demonstrate the same declines in pulmonary function.  Further support for the etiologic time period being sometime before the age of 3 years is provided by evidence from bronchoalveolar lavage, that inflammation, believed to be a precursor to airway remodeling, occurs in the lungs of young children with wheezing.
This time period is also known to be when most small airway and alveolar development and proliferation occur. In older children, it appears that it may be too late to prevent the decline in pulmonary function associated with asthma. Interventions in school-aged children with asthma have resulted in improvements in symptom frequencies but have not prevented the decline in pulmonary function in late childhood appears to continue into adulthood. ”