THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When a patient is afflicted with COPD, a disease that prevents free flow of oxygen to lungs, there is little chance to bring him/her back to normalcy.
If there is any, that is through Non-invasive Ventilation(NIV). Sadly, most of the doctors are not aware of this effective and cheapest modality of treatment to prevent respiratory failure caused by COPD. Instead, they go in for the conventional ventilation.This happens at a time when COPD, which is caused mainly by smoking, has surpassed lung cancer in the state. NIV means giving ventilatory support without using an invasive artificial airway (endotracheal tube or tracheostomy tube) whereas in conventional ventilation, a tube has to be inserted through the mouth.Being a respiratory ailment, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) suffocates a patient to a slow but sure death. “The lungs of a COPD patient would be permanently damaged. Chances are less for them to respond favourably to medicines. And once they are put under conventional ventilation, it is not easy for them to come out of that ventilator soon,” said Dr Jayaprakash, additional professor, Pulmonory Medicine, Thiruvananthapuram Medical College.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that among the six million smokers, six hundred thousand COPD patients are passive smokers. Apart from smoking, environmental pollution also causes COPD. Respiratory failure is high in COPD patients which also leads to high mortality rate. The only way to save them is to give NIV along with other medication before they fall victim to respiratory failure. “ Sadly, many doctors delays treatment by giving injection, nebulisation and medicines. Because they do not know NIV has to be given to avoid respiratory failure. And also it should be administered when the patient is stable and conscious,” he clarified. Once NIV is delayed, the patient would undergo respiratory failure and only option left would be conventional ventilation. But its success rate would be low, he added.