Chair: Tim S. Trinidad, MD, FPCCP




Media Kit for COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Dr. Tim Trinidad
Chairman, Council on COPD and Pulmonary Rehabilitation

What is COPD?

  • COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The disease starts when harmful gases are inhaled and damage the lung’s airways and air sacs. These harmful gases maybe in the form of cigarette smoke, bio mass fuel (such as charcoal or firewood), air pollution and occupational dust. The damages in the lungs cause symptoms of breathlessness, cough and phlegm production.
  • There is a critical time of exposure before the damage starts.
  • It is never too late to quit smoking.
  • It is never too late to stop using firewood or charcoal in cooking.


What is the natural course of the disease?

  • The damage is usually slow and progressive. Lung function has a large reserve and therefore a patient may not feel anything until 20 to 50% of the lungs are damaged. The early stages of COPD are often unrecognized, in part because many individuals discount symptoms such as breathlessness, chronic cough and bringing up phlegm as a normal part of getting older or an expected consequence of cigarette smoking.
  • One-quarter to one-half of people with COPD do not know they have it. Finding COPD early gives the best chance to prevent further lung damage.
  • In people at risk for COPD, a simple, painless test called lung function testing (spirometry) can help diagnose the disease.
  • It is never to have a lung function test done.


Is COPD treatable?

  • COPD is a treatable disease.
  • It is never too late for a patient to seek medical consultation.
  • Pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies are available to help people at all stages of disease feel better and live a more active life.
  • Pharmacological treatment includes drugs that dilates the airways (bronchodilators) and prevents further lung damage (anti-inflammatory drugs). These drugs if taken religiously are effective.
  • It is never too late to religious follow the prescription of your COPD doctor.
  • Non-pharmacological therapies include the following
    • Smoking cessation or continued noxious gas exposure prevention,
    • Vaccination against flu and pneumonia
    • Pulmonary rehabilitation.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation is one of the most effective treatments for a COPD patient. It involves patient going to the pulmonary rehab center wherein they exercise, gets education, advises and social support on how to cope up with disease and live a happy life.
  • It is never too late for a COPD patient to enroll in a pulmonary rehabilitation program.
  • Information for access to a pulmonary rehabilitation program can be obtained from the PCCP website.


What is the burden of COPD in our country?

  • COPD is a highly prevalent in our country. Roughly, 14 to 20 % of our compatriots in the urban and rural area respectively have COPD.
  • COPD has a large impact on quality of life for patients and their families, and kills millions of people worldwide.
  • It is never too late to stop smoking,
  • It is never too late to have a lung function test done.
  • It is never too late to religious follow the prescription of your COPD doctor.
  • It is never too late to enroll in a pulmonary rehabilitation program.


What is World COPD Day?

  • World COPD Day will be held on November 20. The event is organized to raise awareness about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • The theme of this year’s World COPD Day is “It’s not too late.” This positive message emphasizes the meaningful actions people can take to improve their respiratory health, at any stage before or after a COPD diagnosis.
  • Example of activities that will be conducted by the PCCP accredited institutions and chapters are the following:
    • Public Service Announcements, posters, billboards, stickers, newspaper articles, and radio advertisements highlighting the theme of World COPD Day 2013
    • Demonstrations of spirometry and free spirometry screening clinics
    • World COPD Day walks, runs, and swims involving participants with COPD and their family and friends
    • Exercise classes, dance performances, coping skills workshops, and support group sessions to help COPD patients live active, fuller lives
    • Clinics and health fairs to bring attention to COPD and provide information about good COPD care
    • Seminars for physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers on the latest international guidelines for COPD diagnosis and treatment