A patient who was admitted to the hospital for an acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be discharged once criteria have been met. The authors are from the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) Workshop.


Criteria for hospital discharge - functional status:

(1) inhaled bronchodilator therapy is required no more frequently than every 4 hours

(2) if the patient was previously ambulatory, he or she is able to walk across the room

(3) the patient is able to eat and take in adequate fluids

(4) the patient is able to sleep without frequent awakenings by dyspnea

(5) the patient has been clinically stable for 12 to 24 hours

(6) arterial blood gases have been stable for 12 to 24 hours


Criteria for hospital discharge - home status:

(1) patient and/or home caregiver fully understand and are capable in the correct use of medication

(2) all necessary follow-up and home care arrangements have been completed

(3) patient, family and physician are confident that the patient can manage successfully after discharge


If all of these criteria have been met, then the patient can be discharged.


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