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Standardisation of Clinical Assessment, Management and Follow-Up of Acute Hospitalised Exacerbation of COPD: A Europe-Wide Consensus

Authors Ramakrishnan S, Janssens W, Burgel PR, Contoli M, Franssen FME, Greening NJ, Greulich T, Gyselinck I, Halner A, Huerta A, Morgan RL, Quint JK, Vanfleteren LEGW, Vermeersch K, Watz H, Bafadhel M

Received 20 October 2020

Accepted for publication 11 December 2020

Published 16 February 2021 Volume 2021:16 Pages 321—332


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Sanjay Ramakrishnan,1– 3 Wim Janssens,4 Pierre-Regis Burgel,5 Marco Contoli,6 Frits ME Franssen,7 Neil J Greening,8 Timm Greulich,9 Iwein Gyselinck,4 Andreas Halner,1 Arturo Huerta,10 Rebecca L Morgan,11 Jennifer K Quint,12 Lowie EGW Vanfleteren,13 Kristina Vermeersch,4 Henrik Watz,14 Mona Bafadhel1

1Respiratory Medicine Unit, Nuffield Department of Medicine - Experimental Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK; 2 National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), University of Oxford, Oxford, UK; 3School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia; 4Department of Respiratory Diseases, UZ Leuven, Research Group BREATHE, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; 5Faculty of Medicine, University of Paris and INSERM 1016 Institut Cochin, Cochin Hospital, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris, France; 6Department of Morphology, Surgery and Experimental Medicine, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy; 7Department of Respiratory Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, Netherlands; 8Department of Respiratory Sciences, NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (Respiratory), Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, UK; 9Department of Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University Medical Centre Giessen and Marburg, Philipps University, Member of the German Centre for Lung Research (DZL), Marburg, Germany; 10Pulmonary and Critical Care Division, Clinica Sagrada Familia, IDIBAPS August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute, Barcelona, Spain; 11Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada; 12National Heart & Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, UK; 13COPD Center, Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition at Institute of Medicine, SU Sahlgrenska, Göteborg, Sweden; 14Pulmonary Research Institute at LungenClinic Grosshansdorf, Airway Research Center North (ARCN), German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Grosshansdorf, Germany

Correspondence: Mona Bafadhel
Respiratory Medicine Unit, Nuffield Department of Medicine Experimental Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Tel +44 1865 612898

Background: Despite hospitalization for exacerbation being a high-risk event for morbidity and mortality, there is little consensus globally regarding the assessment and management of hospitalised exacerbations of COPD. We aimed to establish a consensus list of symptoms, physiological measures, clinical scores, patient questionnaires and investigations to be obtained at time of hospitalised COPD exacerbation and follow-up.
Methods: A modified Delphi online survey with pre-defined consensus of importance, feasibility and frequency of measures at hospitalisation and follow-up of a COPD exacerbation was undertaken.
Findings: A total of 25 COPD experts from 18 countries contributed to all 3 rounds of the survey. Experts agreed that a detailed history and examination were needed. Experts also agreed on which treatments are needed and how soon these should be delivered. Experts recommended that a full blood count, renal function, C-reactive protein and cardiac blood biomarkers (BNP and troponin) should be measured within 4 hours of admission and that the modified Medical Research Council dyspnoea scale (mMRC) and COPD assessment test (CAT) should be performed at time of exacerbation and follow-up. Experts encouraged COPD clinicians to strongly consider discussing palliative care, if indicated, at time of hospitalisation.
Interpretation: This Europe-wide consensus document is the first attempt to standardise the assessment and care of patients hospitalised for COPD exacerbations. This should be regarded as the starting point to build knowledge and evidence on patients hospitalised for COPD exacerbations.

Keywords: COPD, disease exacerbation, hospitalisation, patient care, consensus development, expert opinion

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