Are patients with COPD at a higher risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 and are they also more likely to experience a more severe course of COVID-19 illness?
What the research says:
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at increased risk for severe illness associated with viral infection, including COVID-19. Patients with COPD are also at increased risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 disease and death. There is no evidence to indicate that the medications prescribed for the management of COPD, including oral corticosteroids, increase the risk for COVID-19 infection or of severe COVID-19 disease.
What this means for your clinical practice:
- Ensure patients with COPD are symptomatically well controlled
- Encourage your patients with COPD to ensure they take their medications as prescribed and report any increase in respiratory symptoms promptly
- Support your patients with COPD to follow National guidelines, including shielding, in order to minimise their risk of becoming infected with COVID-19.
- When seeing patients face to face, follow National guidelines to minimise cross-infection
For additional information on the treatment of an acutely unwell person with COVID 19 in the primary care setting please see our guidance at: https://www.ipcrg.org/ICEQ21
With grateful thanks to Dr Dhiraj Agarwal (KEM Hospital Research Centre Pune, Pune, India) for and on behalf of the IPCRG practice driven answers review group.