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In Journal of thoracic disease ; h5-index 52.0

Exacerbations are serious complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that often require acute care from pre-hospital and emergency department (ED) services. Despite being a frequent cause of emergency presentations, gaps remain in both literature and practice for emergency care pathways of COPD exacerbations. This review seeks to address these gaps and focuses on the literature of pre-hospital and ED systems of care and how these intersect with patients experiencing an exacerbation of COPD. The literature in this area is expanding rapidly; however, more research is required to further understand exacerbations and how they are addressed by emergency medical services worldwide. For the purpose of this review, the pre-hospital domain includes ambulance and other emergency transport services, and encompasses medical interventions delivered prior to arrival at an ED or hospital. The ED domain is defined as the area of a hospital or free-standing centre where patients arrive to receive emergent medical care prior to admission. In many studies there is a significant overlap between these two domains and frequent intersection and collaboration between services. In both of these domains, for the management of COPD exacerbations, several overarching themes have been identified in the literature. These include: the appropriate delivery of oxygen in the emergency setting; strategies to improve the provision of care in accordance with diagnostic and treatment guidelines; strategies to reduce the requirement for emergency presentations; and, technological advances including machine learning which are helping to improve emergency healthcare systems.

Sneath Emily, Bunting Denise, Hazell Wayne, Tippett Vivienne, Yang Ian A


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), ambulance, emergency department (ED), exacerbation, pathways, pre-hospital, systems