COPD - so confused!

  1. I don't know if I'm posting in the right place but I need your help! I'm studying COPD (BSN Student) at the moment and I'm just so confused, please don't tell me to google or read a text books or read journals because I have, I promise! So if someone has an exacerbation of COPD due to infection, what would be the peak flow readings be if it was mild? Also would a chest x-ray determine the cause of this infection or is it done simply to rule out cancer etc? And would a urine sample show any abnormalities due to copd exacerbation caused by bronchopulmonary infection?? I would really appreciate your help because COPD is very common and I know I will encounter it on clinical rotation!
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  3. by   nurseprnRN
    1) It depends. What have you read so far about peak flow measurement?

    2) Pneumonias can be seen on CXR but the cause of infection is isolated in a culture, not by imaging. CXR for any chest thing is looked at for ruling out other problems too.

    3) What would the physiology be to connect bronchopulmonary infection to kidneys?

    Suggest seriously that you get a better foundation in physiology (my favorite reference for students is the Physiology Coloring Book, free 2-day delivery for students from Amazon). Without that, nothing will make sense, and you'll always be playing catch-up.
  4. by   butterfly134
    1) I know that more than 300 l/min is generally the normal rate for men. But what would these figures be in a moderate copd exacerbation? My guess is 200-250 l/min however I'm not sure 2) So therefore a chest-xray may appear normal even though the pt is coughing up purulent sputum? 3) Your right about the physiology, I know the different systems separately but have to start putting them together now. I don't think there is a relation, but if there isn't then why would one be done? Or is it just to rule out UTI?......I really appreciate your help!
  5. by   HH_RN13
    For the kidneys and lungs I suggest you read about acid base balances and arterial blood gases. I am sure you will then see the relation :-) I would tell you, but I always believed that you will remember it better if you find the answer yourself. But do say if you are still struggling to find the answer
  6. by   butterfly134
    YOU ARE A STAR.....I think I've worked it out...(I must sound so stupid! )..pH would be acidic???? WBC's always present in urine in infection or is it just UTI??
  7. by   HH_RN13
    WBC in urine usually mean a UTI, which is not really related to the lung infection. But yes, because COPD patients have a ventilation issue and retain CO2, during an exacerbation the issue worsens causing them to become acidotic. Kidneys try to balance out the ph.
  8. by   HH_RN13
    And no you don't sound stupid at all :-) sometimes the relation is not that obvious. I personally finally completely understood after 3rd semester of studying it.
  9. by   butterfly134
    Thank you so much for your help, really appreciate it!
  10. by   HH_RN13
    You are welcome! :-)