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Managing and preventing acute exacerbations of COPD in the community

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a condition commonly seen in the community, with symptoms including breathlessness, chronic cough and wheezing. There is much that community nurses can do to support COPD patients through an acute exacerbation (AECOPD) and to optimise their care when stable. Community nurses can take an active role in providing advocacy for the patient and ensuring that their professional knowledge is updated to provide admission and a key area for COPD is a leading cause of hospital admission and a key area for service development in the community. Investment in education and clinical leadership in community nursing is vital to prepare the workforce to deal with the needs of people with COPD in the future.