Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a term used to describe a family of lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis. COPD is characterized by increasing breathlessness, frequent coughing (with and without sputum), wheezing and tightness in the chest.
The Pulmonary and Critical Care Division at Maine Medical Center is devoted to providing thorough evaluation, treatment, and follow-up for all patients with COPD. Patients may be seen and evaluated on an inpatient basis at the Bramhall campus of Maine Medical Center or as an outpatient at Chest Medicine Associates offices. MMC is currently rated as high performing for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease care by US News and World Report based upon success in preventing COPD complications, readmissions, patient volume, nursing and physician care, and patient experience.
A complete evaluation of patients with COPD is aimed at providing the optimal treatment to each individual. Services offered include:
Experienced and coordinated consultation as necessary
Complete Pulmonary Function Testing
Methacholine Challenge Testing
Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing
Chest imaging including High Resolution CT scanning
Testing for Hereditary Emphysema
Lung Cancer Screening
Therapeutic services stress coordination of care with the referring primary physician to provide high quality care for COPD patients. Patient education and support is provided by physicians, advanced practice provider specialists, nurses, and medical assistants. Therapies such as medication management, home oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, and coordination of care for volume reduction interventions and transplantation when appropriate are offered. Other investigational treatment options may also be available to suitable patients.
When patients are admitted to the hospital with a primary diagnosis of COPD with Acute Exacerbation, our Respiratory Therapy department provides the COPD Patient Pathway highlighting daily milestones and goals of care. The elements include:
Education: tobacco cessation, lifestyle adjustments, and inhaler use
Nutrition and activity
Medical tests and treatments: chest x-ray, spirometry,
Medications: IV or oral meds, nebulizers, and inhalers
Discharge planning: meeting with Care Management to map next steps in patient’s road to recovery, discharge location, and long-term goals of care or needs