Emphysema & Bronchitis: COPD


How has 2016 been for you this far? I hope you are off to a good start! I know a lot of you have just started or returned to nursing school. Hopefully you got some rest and are ready to tackle the complicated topics. To help you out, I wanted to remind you that you can always refer to this page:
To see all of the current videos, quiz’s and other resources.
For now, I have this video for you going over COPD.
You can view the video here.
You can also take the quiz and watch the video without any music here:

I hope this helps you out a ton!
Looking forward to hearing from you again soon!

I would like to thank the video contributors:
Artem Shestakov
Dr. Meena
Rizalyn Joy Gadugdug
Maria Salvacion Gonzales

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a term used to describe not only one
but two chronic lung diseases that causes limitations of lung airflow making it hard to breath and
gets worst overtime. It is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States according to
To better understand the disease process of COPD, let’s go back to the normal anatomy
and physiology of the respiratory system.
Every time we inhale, air goes in and passes through the windpipe which divides into 2
branches known as bronchial tubes, and each one of these enters one of the two lungs in the
body. Each branches resembles the limb of a tree dividing into thousand smaller, finer branches
called bronchioles. The bronchioles ends in a tiny air sacs called alveoli, they are like tiny
balloons that stretch and fill with air when you breathe in and shrink back when you breathe out.
These air sacs are surrounded by tiny blood vessels or capillaries where the process of gas
exchange takes place. Once the air we breathe in reaches the air sacs, oxygen passes through
the air sac walls into the blood in the capillaries. At the same time, carbon dioxide (waste gas)
moves out from the capillaries into the air sacs to be breath out.
So what happens with COPD?
In COPD, less air flow in and out of the airway because of one or a combination of the
following reasons:
The air sacs and airways their stretching ability
The walls of the air sac are destroyed
The walls of the airways became thick or inflamed
The airways becomes clogged with mucus
There are two main forms of COPD, that causes the following reasons mentioned earlier.
Chronic bronchitis and Emphysema.
In Chronic bronchitis, the lining of the airways (bronchi) is constantly irritated and became
inflamed and swollen, making the airway narrow and clogged with mucus, called phlegm,
making it hard to breathe.
With emphysema, the walls between many of the air sacs are destroyed. As a result, the air
sacs lose their shape and become floppy, the damage can also lead to fewer and larger air sacs
instead of many tiny ones. When this happens, the amount of gas exchange in the lungs is
In most cases, chronic bronchitis and emphysema can be found together. Thus, the general
term “COPD” is more accurate.
Long term exposure to lung irritants that irritates and damage the lungs and the airways
overtime is the cause of COPD. Smoking as the main cause, while exposure to air pollution, or
chemical fumes or dust from the environment or workplace are the less common cause that
contributes to the development of COPD.
In rare cases, a genetic condition called as Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency may assume a
part in causing COPD. Individuals with this condition has low level of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT)
–a protein made in the liver. This condition can lead to lung damage