Does COVID-19 cause lasting consequences in patients with chronic lung disease? The answer to this and other common FAQs from these patients provided by the American Lung Association.
Patients living with chronic lung disease are at significantly greater risk for severe disease and complications if they become infected with COVID-19, although they are not thought to be at greater risk for contracting the disease.Â The American Lung Association (ALA) offers a webinar every Monday for patients that features ALA chief medical officer Albert A. Rizzo, MD. Dr Rizzo provides updates on the evolving COVID-19 environment and recommendations for people with chronic lung disease and their caregivers.The short slide show below features questions frequently asked by patients with lung disease and Dr Rizzo's answers. You may be asked these or similar questions by your own lung disease patients. Provide them with the link to the webinar registration page using the link in the caption to the final slide.
Are people with lung disease at greater risk for contracting COVID-19? No, but they are susceptible to much more severe disease and to additional complications.
If I have lung disease, should I get tested for COVID-19? There are 2 primary reasons for COVID-19 testing - if you are experiencing infection-specific symptoms and if you have been exposed to someone known to be infected. You must have a prescripton from a physician to be tested.
Could smoking and/or vaping increase susceptibility to harm from COVID-19? Both smoking and vaping are associated with lung compromise that can increase the risk for complications in someone exposed to the infection.
Could poor air quality make someone more susceptible to COVID-19? Air pollution can make the COVID-19 pandemic worse.
Since it is a disease affecting the lungs, people who live in places with more pollution could be more vulnerable.
Are there any lasting lung healthconsequences from COVID-19? In a minority of severe cases it can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) which will require use of a ventilator. Extensive lung damage will lead to respiratory failure and potentially to organ failure and death. There will be individual differences in the recovery rate and consequences from a severe COVID-19, but there may be long-term lung damage.
How can patients with chronic lung disease stay out of the hospital? Even in non-pandemic times, patients with chronic lung disease are ranked the 3rd leading cause of hospital admission. ALA advises: Stay on maintenance meds ** Socially distance yourself ** Avoid sick people ** Watch air quality ** Keep hands clean ** Notify your HCP about any change in symptoms **
Follow your treatment plan as prescribed.
Essential reminders for patients with chronic lung disease: Continue to take prescribed medications-including those containing corticosteroids-to maintain optimal health; direct any concerns to the appropriate HCP/specialist. Call your HCP immediately if you develop symptoms that do not clear or that progress to dyspnea, bluish lips, confusion, or persistent pain/pressure in the chest. For a previously scheduled, routine care office visit, contact your clinician to discuss; many are conserving resources for COVID-19 emergencies.
COVID-19 and Chronic Lung Disease: What Your Patients Need to Know. WEBINAR Every Monday at 1 pm CT, American Lung Association Chief Medical Officer, Albert Rizzo, MD, will provide information on COVID-19 and recommendations for people with chronic lung disease and their caregivers. Patients register for the webinars in advance and can watch recorded updates from previous weeks and access ALA FAQs 24/7-all available online.