Do you have COPD?
Have you Had your Flu Shot?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a health care challenge in Ontario that is expected to grow worse in the years ahead. Aside from the devastating impact it can have on individuals and the families who help care for them, COPD assumes a significant portion of the provincial health care budget due to the high costs of managing this chronic disease. In fact, exacerbations of COPD account for almost half (40%) of the total direct costs of COPD to the health care system, extended hospitalization being one of the contributing factors.
Preventative measures can help lessen symptoms and also contain costs.
IF YOU HAVE COPD, YOU SHOULD:
- Have regular check-ups with your health care provider
- Take medication as directed
- Get a flu (influenza) vaccination to reduce the frequency of acute exacerbations (periods of severe breathing difficulties) of COPD. (Medical guidelines recommend the annual influenza vaccination for people with COPD, usually in the autumn months.)
Guidelines also recommend that the pneumococcal vaccination be given to COPD patients at least once and possibly repeated in five to 10 years. As with other measures, people with lung disease should speak to their doctor or other health care provider about vaccinations.
For further information about the management of COPD including vaccinations, patients or health care providers can call The Lung Association Lung Health Information Line, staffed by certified respiratory educators, at