COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes
obstructed airflow from the lungs. It is very common, affecting over 3 million people each year in the
United States alone. COPD is most commonly diagnosed in people 40 years and older, women and those
with family history of COPD.
People at higher risk for developing COPD are smokers and those who have had what is usually
prolonged exposure to workplace pollutants such harmful chemicals and fumes. Air pollution and
genetics can also play a role in the development of COPD. Those with AIDS or tuberculosis are also at a
higher risk of developing COPD.
COPD can develop for many years without symptoms, so it is often diagnosed within its later stages.
Symptoms of COPD can include shortness of breath during physical activity; a general shortness of
breath that worsens over time; clear, white, yellow or green mucous production; frequent coughing
with or without mucous; wheezing or noisy breathing; chest tightness; fatigue; frequent lung infections;
and loss of appetite with subsequent weight loss.
People suffering from these types of symptoms should see a doctor, especially if they begin experiencing
symptoms of infections such as fever or changes in mucous. General practitioners can refer patients to a
pulmonologist, a doctor who specializes in respiratory system conditions, for diagnosis and treatment.
With possible complications including increased risk of contracting influenza and colds, acute symptom
fare-ups, respiratory infections such as pneumonia, lung cancer and heart conditions as serious as heart
disease, COPD can be an extremely dangerous condition.
Immediate medical attention should be sought for more severe symptoms such as trouble breathing so
intense that it can cause difficulty speaking, confusion and dizziness/fainting. Those experiencing
increased heart rate, blue lips and/or nails and swelling in legs, ankles and/or feet should also seek
Some people with reduced lung function due to smoking, environmental conditions or genetic factors
are misdiagnosed as having COPD before thorough testing is performed. More in-depth testing and
procedures to determine if a patient actually has COPD and, if so, to discover the severity of their
condition can include, but are not limited to chest x-rays, which are used to search for certain
abnormalities that could lead to COPD symptoms; complete blood counts (CBCs) used to help rule out
infections which may cause some of the symptoms of COPD; an arterial blood gas test to measure
oxygen levels within the blood; and pulmonary function tests (PFTs) to assess lung function and the
severity of the condition. Later, after medication has been prescribed and taken long enough to produce
the desired result, bronchodilator reverse testing can be used to see if lung function has improved with
There is no known cure for COPD, but treatment options to reduce symptoms currently include various
types of medication, medical procedures and therapy. As far as medication, antibiotics are used to help
avoid and cure lung infections; glucocorticosteriods are utilized for airway inflammation reduction; and
bronchodilators can be prescribed for muscle and airway relaxation to improve breathing and are
generally administered via inhaler. Medical procedures such as lung transplants and bullectomies, which
are the removal of enlarged air sacs from the lung, are sometime performed if medications don’t work.
Additionally, therapies including oxygen therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation are recommended for
certain COPD patients.
Clinical research and the findings that are uncovered within the clinical trial process are vital to
advancement of medicine and, more specifically, crucial for discovering better ways to prevent, treat,
control and diagnose illnesses…and clinical trial volunteers are an essential part of that process. In
addition, major medical breakthroughs could not happen without the contribution of clinical trial
Clinical trial volunteers play an active role in healthcare and scientific discovery…helping to make the
world a better place and working toward building brighter tomorrows. Research indicates that, typically,
the more clinical trial volunteers participate in a study, the more effective the study and the more
quickly that study is likely to generate results. A variety of people – from young and old, to people from
all walks of life and origin – are needed to ensure the success of a clinical trial as well.
Researchers at the Riverside Clinical Research facility are currently planning a clinical study involving
COPD. If you suffer from COPD or experience any of the symptoms associated with this condition and
you think you may want to participate as a volunteer, feel free to enroll with Riverside Clinical Research
so that you may be contacted about studies conducted in your area. It’s as easy as accessing the patient
portal on our riversideclinicalresearch.com.
If you have questions or would like more information, you are welcome to call the Riverside Clinical
Research professionals for more information at 386-428-7730 Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to
5 p.m. or Friday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. We can also be reached by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Riverside Clinical Research is conveniently located at 1410 S.
Ridgewood Avenue in Edgewater.
The research conducted at Riverside Clinical Research, an award winning medical research facility, is
comprised of an exceedingly skilled, knowledgeable team of trend-setting doctors and researchers who
closely monitor all Riverside Clinical Research clinical trial volunteers. Riverside Clinical Research is fully
staffed with highly credentialed medical professionals who offer the combined clinical trial experience of
over 50 years.
The professionals at Riverside Clinical Research are dedicated to working diligently today to enhance
lives through improved medical outcomes tomorrow.