In-home treatment for COPD exacerbations

Get top-quality care in your home for COPD exacerbations. Our skilled healthcare providers come to you.

Phil Mitchell MD, MS
Medically reviewed by Phil Mitchell MD, MSJuly 24th, 2019
DispatchHealth providers in the filed

Get care for COPD exacerbations without leaving home

COPD exacerbations can happen suddenly and make you feel confused, panicked or exhausted. With DispatchHealth, you receive exceptional care for COPD in the comfort of your home. Our experienced medical team provides same-day care, quickly getting you the COPD treatment you need.

What is a COPD exacerbation?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, includes two conditions: emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Both conditions make it harder for your lungs to work properly.

COPD exacerbations, or flare-ups, are a worsening of your COPD symptoms. Most people with COPD experience an exacerbation at least once a year . Symptoms of a COPD exacerbation include:

  • Chest tightness
  • Confusion
  • Coughing more than usual
  • Coughing up yellow, green or brown mucus
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • Fever
  • Lower oxygen levels (if you use a pulse oximeter)
  • Trouble catching your breath with daily tasks like walking around your house

Causes of COPD flare-ups

The most common cause, or trigger, of a COPD exacerbation is illness. COPD symptoms often worsen when you have a cold, flu, COVID-19 or another virus. Other causes of COPD exacerbations include:

  • Air pollution
  • Dust, pollen or other allergens
  • Fumes from chemicals, including cleaning products
  • Secondhand cigarette smoke
  • Smoking

Can stress or anxiety make COPD worse?

Stress and anxiety can make COPD symptoms worse and trigger an exacerbation. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, try deep breathing:

  1. Sit down in a quiet area and close your eyes.
  2. Breathe in through your nose for two seconds.
  3. Purse your lips like you’re saying “ooo.”
  4. Breathe out through your pursed lips for up to six seconds if you can.
  5. Repeat breathing in and out until you feel calm.

If you’re not feeling better after deep breathing or your COPD symptoms are getting worse, we’re here to help.

Treating COPD exacerbations

Treating a COPD exacerbation early can keep it from worsening. Our skilled, caring team at DispatchHealth offers personalized, same-day medical care service that comes to you. A nurse practitioner or physician assistant/associate and an emergency-trained medical technician arrive equipped with everything needed to treat you.

We treat mild to moderate COPD exacerbations in the comfort of your home. Our professional medical team comes to you, so you can focus on getting better.

Your care may include:

  • Antibiotics if you have signs of an infection, such as fever
  • Inhaler or nebulizer with bronchodilators (medicine to open your airways)
  • Oxygen therapy given through a facemask or small tube that fits in your nostrils
  • Steroids, which lower inflammation and swelling in your lungs

Can I prevent COPD exacerbations?

COPD exacerbations cannot always be prevented. But you can lower your risk of having one if you:

  • Avoid cigarette smoke, chemicals and fumes
  • Quit smoking, or if you don’t smoke, don’t start
  • Stay away from people who have colds or other illnesses
  • Stay inside when air pollution is high
  • Wash your hands regularly, especially before eating and after using the bathroom

Can COPD exacerbations be fatal?

Without treatment, severe COPD exacerbations can lead to death. But with prompt medical care, you can recover. If you notice signs of an exacerbation or think your COPD is getting worse, don’t wait. Get medical care right away.

Our mobile healthcare service is here for you

DispatchHealth provides affordable, same-day medical care. We’re open 365 days a year.

Our skilled healthcare providers are experienced in caring for people with COPD. We’re ready to treat breathing problems with inhalers, nebulizers and medications that get you quick relief. And we know that COPD flare-ups can be frightening and stressful. That’s why we provide our medical care with a compassionate touch.

After your in-home visit, leave the follow-up work to us. We contact your primary doctor and update them on your health. We also handle billing with your insurance company. We accept most major insurance plans, including Medicare. A DispatchHealth visit costs the same as an urgent care visit — and much less than an emergency department visit.

If you have symptoms of a COPD exacerbation, contact us to schedule an appointment. DispatchHealth will come to you, and we offer same-day appointments from early morning to late at night, 365 days a year. Call us at 888-908-0553 or request an appointment online.

If you’re having an emergency, please call 911 or have someone drive you to the nearest emergency department.

The DispatchHealth blog provides tips, tricks and advice for improving lives through convenient, comfortable healthcare.

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