July 4, 2017

If you have been hospitalized for some type of pulmonary event, the discharge diagnosis is important. What your doctors have said was your discharge diagnosis, and why you were in the hospital, can influence many things including future care, medications , and assumptions about future symptoms. I bring these issues to your attention because a recent study has shown that the discharge diagnosis of COPD was only confnmed in 56% of the cases. I have indicated many mes that the only way to confinn the diagnosis of COPD is with a breathing test called a spirometry. In this review of 1278 discharges, 21% had no spirometry, 12% could not perf01m the test, and 11% had normal studies. All of these patients left the hospital with the diagnosis of COPD. What this means is that these patients are being treated for a disease they may or, in the case of 11 % , may not have. They will be taking medications and will be considered to have COPD on any future hospitalizations. One of the dangers is that symptoms like shortness of breath will be passed off as being due to their lung disease, and other causes, like coronary anew disease, will be overlooked. Most patients now get a print out of their hospital discharge diagnosis. My advice is to look this over carefully. The diagnosis of COPD should not be made unless confirmed by spiromet1Y. If you do not recall ever having a spirometry, talk to you doctor about your diagnosis.

Lung Disease Center of Central Pennsylvania
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The Buzz by Dr. Z

George M. Zlupko, MD, FCCP

Timothy A. Lucas, MD, FCCP

Alan J. Kanouff, DO, FCCP

Dr. Michael C. Zlupko, MD

800 Chestnut Ave
Altoona, PA 16601




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