hospital or community setting for management of exacerbation of COPD

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  • factors which favour treatment in hospital

    • not able to cope at home

    • severe beathlessness

    • general condition is poor/ deteriorating

    • level of activity is poor/confined to bed

    • cyanosis is present

    • worsening peripheral oedema

    • impaired level of consciousness

    • patients is already receiving long term oxygen therapy

    • patient is living alone/ not coping

    • acute confusion is present

    • exacerbation has had a rapid rate of onset

    • there is significant comorbidity particularly cardiac disease and insulin-dependent diabetes)

    • SaO2 < 90%

    • changes on the chest radiograph are present

    • arterial pH level < 7.35

    • arterial PaO2 < 7 kPa

For further details the consult the full guideline (1).


  1. NICE (2018). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in adults in primary care and secondary care

Last edited 12/2018 and last reviewed 08/2021