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A Comprehensive Care Program for Chronic Airway Obstruction: Methods and Preliminary Evaluation of Symptomatic and Functional Improvement

THOMAS L. PETTY, M.D.; LOUISE M. NETT, R.N.; MICHAEL M. FINIGAN, M.D.; GLEN A. BRINK, B.S.; and PHILIP R. CORSELLO, M.D.
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Denver, Colorado


Copyright ©, 1969, by The American College of PhysiciansThe American College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1969;70(6):1109-1120. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-70-6-1109
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SUMMARY:

A comprehensive care program for patients witn chronic airway obstruction (emphysema and chronic bronchitis) is described. The major portion of the program uses systematic, organized outpatient and home care using relatively few personnel and existing hospital facilities. Effective clinical care is based on patient education, bronchial hygiene using simple home equipment, breathing retraining, and physical reconditioning. Portable oxygen equipment allows the participation of otherwise very disabled hypoxemic individuals. An intensive care unit is used for episodes of acute respiratory failure.

The program has resulted in marked subjected improvement in the majority of patients and a highly significant increase in exercise tolerance. Modest but significant objective pulmonary function improvement was observed in patients with up to 1 year of follow-up. A return to gainful employment was possible in certain individuals in spite of marked disability, and a reduction in necessary hospitalization for the group was observed.

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