The Philippine College of Chest Physicians (PCCP), along with its partner institutions in the medical and technological fields, have completed the local guideline for the management and treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which already accounts for COVID- 19 and its means. minimize the personal expenses of patients.
Members of the Philippine College of Chest Physicians Council on COPD and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, represented by Dr Lenora Fernandez, Dr Tim Trinidad, Dr Bernice Ong-Dela Cruz and Dr Steffani Paraguas, presented the local adaptation of the guideline on COPD by emphasizing protocols at the primary care level to make them compatible with universal health care.
According to Dr. Fernandez, one of the proponents of the consensus guideline, the main reason is to implement equity in the treatment of COPD.
“There is a gap in the cost of evidence-based drugs for COPD compared to what the average Filipino can afford. That’s why we saw the need to translate this into the local scenario because of our pocket-sized medical system, ”noted Dr. Fernandez, who heads the division of pulmonary medicine at the Philippine General Hospital, in an interview. separate.
Meanwhile, Dr Trinidad said technological and medical studies are currently being carried out on occupational COPD, although it is still an emerging concept. Citing a prospective study published in Europe. Dr Trinidad said there is significant evidence that industrial and biological dust and other fumes can cause COPD. Therefore, the need for respiratory protective equipment in the workplace can be considered.
Experts stress the importance for the public to be aware of COPD and to be open to seeking medical intervention in case they have the disease. They want the public to be aware of the detrimental effects of COPD for early detection and primary care, as it could cause irreversible damage to health.
Thus, the group developed the “Philippine COPD Management Algorithm Guideline,” which is a summary of consensus recommendations between the PCCP and partner stakeholders, including primary care practitioners, the Philippine College of Physicians. (PCP) and the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) on COPD care and management designed for the Filipino context.
Specifically, Dr Fernandez pointed out that: “The main objective is to provide a simple guide for all healthcare workers who manage potential COPD patients as part of our country’s universal healthcare. and the presence of COVID-19 infection ”with the utmost attention to vulnerable people. population facing the highest risk.
In the guideline, primary care physicians are guided on how to identify signs and symptoms and use the information to arrive at a probable COPD diagnosis or identify those that are exacerbating.
Parameters to monitor the condition of the patient with COPD are also defined for continuity of care. It defines when the patient will return to his or her family with the family and community medicine specialist continuing to care for the patients.
On the public side, experts are encouraging patients with a high symptomatic burden of COPD to take advantage of pulmonary rehabilitation programs to prevent progression.
Dr Paraguas said that currently 11 hospitals and centers across the country offer pulmonary rehabilitation programs.
She explained that outpatient programs typically last about two to three days a week, each session lasting about one to 4 hours, and provide structured, supervised physical training that improves muscle function to reduce shortness of breath; education on maintaining and improving bodily functions; nutritional advice; emotional and psychological support; and instructions on breathing techniques.
The guideline also suggests effective strategies for the management of COPD which includes health education interventions directed at the patient, family and community.
Specifically, community medicine specialists can provide health education interventions not only to patients, but also to their families and communities, including barangay health workers, midwives and nurses.
With the COPD guidelines now in place, Dr Fernandez said this ensures positive outcomes for patients so they can have a better quality of life.
The group assures the public that different societies in the medical community are working together to ensure that patients with COPD are cared for with fair and relevant treatment options.
“All guidelines and similar documents are recommendations, where the admission of recommendations is voluntary on the part of the recipient or the caregiver,” she said at the convention.
“All the interventions we considered were evaluated on their corresponding premium or cost-effectiveness. Again, we are trying to simplify our treatment recommendations with an alternative and cheaper option still in place, ”she concluded.
In addition to the COPD guideline, the group should look into developing a guideline on overlapping asthma cases with COPD, as suggested by Dr Ong-Dela Cruz.
The PCCP hopes that these efforts will be formalized soon with the support and representations of the government, within the framework of universal health care.
A full copy of the COPD guideline can be found at www.philchest.org.
What is COPD?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a condition characterized by narrowing of the airways due to swelling or inflammation and excessive mucus production, while the air sacs are damaged. This causes blockage of air flow and problems with breathing.
The main cause of COPD is smoking, but there are environmental factors such as air pollution and biomass fuel, genetic abnormalities, abnormal development, and aging that are also considered to be some of the main causes. Its symptoms include shortness of breath during activities, coughing, and phlegm.
It is one of the top 10 diseases in the Philippines and the third leading cause of death in the world.
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