COPD exacerbations are defined as an acute worsening of respiratory symptoms that result in additional therapy. Exacerbations are important events in the management of COPD because they negatively impact health status, rates of hospitalisation and readmission and disease progression. COPD exacerbations are complex events usually associated with increased airway inflammation, increased mucous production and marked air trapping. This all contributes to increased dyspnoea.1

See Claudia’s story below on how exacerbations can impact your patient’s everyday life


  1. Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management and Prevention of COPD, Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) 2017. Available from:
    [Accessed June 2017].
  2. Wedzicha JA, et al. New Engl J Med 2016;374:2222-34.
  3. Horita N, et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2017;2:CD012066.