MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- Dr. Harlan Weinberg, Medical Director of Pulmonary Medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital, offers tips to caregivers who are working with patients battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Good communication between patient, doctor, and caregiver is key, according to Weinberg. It allows the caregiver to better diagnose if a problem can be handled at home, or if it requires a trip to the emergency room.
Learning to properly diagnose the severity of symptoms is also vital for a caregiver. Knowing if the patient is struggling to breathe and checking for a blueish hue in their fingers or other extremities can help a caregiver ascertain just how bad a flare up is.
Weinberg recommends caregivers attend appointments with the patient and become familiar with the medications and potential treatments in situations where breathing may worsen. Caregivers should also be sure to speak to the doctor or medical staff when they are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.