May 29th , 2012
Workshop Venue: Genova, IT
International Congress on Telehealth and Telecare
March 06th - 08th, 2012
Congress Venue: London, UK
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease COPD is an umbrella term used to describe the airflow obstruction associated mainly with emphysema and chronic bronchitis causing airflow obstruction. Emphysema causes irreversible lung damage by weakening and breaking the air sacs within the lungs. Chronic bronchitis is an inflammatory disease that begins in the smaller airways within the lungs and gradually advances to larger airways. It increases mucus in the airways and increases bacterial infections that block the bronchial tubes. Both conditions decrease the lungs' ability to take in oxygen and remove carbon dioxide. Long-term smoking is the most common cause of COPD, responsible for 80–90 percent of all cases. Other risk factors are heredity, second-hand smoke, air pollution, and a history of frequent childhood respiratory infections. The most common symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, chronic coughing, chest tightness, greater effort to breathe, increased mucus production and frequent clearing of the throat. COPD is progressive and irreversible; there is no cure. As it progresses, the lungs' small airways and alveoli lose their elasticity. The airway walls collapse, closing off some of the smaller air passages and narrowing larger ones. Airways become clogged with mucus and „stale“ air gets trapped in the lungs.
COPD is the fifth leading cause of death in Europe, and experts estimate that by 2020, COPD will become the third leading cause of death worldwide. It is a progressive, debilitating and life-threatening disease, with various stages of severity. Currently available treatments aim at controlling the symptoms and reducing complications. Some alarming statistics that show precisely why the specific chronic disease has been chosen for application field in the proposed project are presented below.