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In this consensus report /guideline, the GOLD committee provides guidance for clinicians on issues of the COVID-19 intersection with COPD, including risk of infection, testing, protective strategies, safety of maintenance medications for COPD, outcomes, and treatment.
– Morgan Soffler, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has raised many questions about the management of COPD patients and whether modifications of their therapy are required. It has raised questions about recognising and differentiating COVID-19 from COPD given the similarity of the symptoms. It is unclear whether COPD patients are at increased risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2. During periods of high prevalence of COVID-19, spirometry should be used when essential for COPD diagnosis and/or to assess lung function status for interventional procedures or surgery. COPD patients should follow basic infection control measures including social distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask or face covering. Although data are limited, inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting bronchodilators, roflumilast, or chronic macrolides should continue to be used as indicated for stable COPD management. Systemic steroids and antibiotics should be used in COPD exacerbations according to the usual indications. Differentiating symptoms of COVID-19 infection from chronic underlying symptoms or those of an COPD exacerbation may be challenging. If there is suspicion for COVID-19, testing for SARS-CoV-2 should be considered. Patients who developed moderate to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization and pneumonia, should be treated with evolving pharmacotherapeutic approaches, as appropriate, including remdesivir, dexamethasone, and anticoagulation. Managing acute respiratory failure should include appropriate oxygen supplementation, prone positioning, noninvasive ventilation, and protective lung ventilation in patients with ARDS. Patients who develop mild COVID-19 should be followed as normal. Patients who developed moderate or worse COVID-19 should be monitored more frequently than normally with particular attention to the need for oxygen therapy. This article is open access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).