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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

Need to act fast over COPD exacerbations

Every day wasted before treating exacerbations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease adds half a day to their recovery time, according to a study presented at the conference.

The need to act quickly was highlighted during a six-year study of 128 patients with COPD, led by Professor Jadwiga Wedzicha, professor of respiratory medicine at the London Chest Hospital.

Patients taking part in the study recorded onset and duration of exacerbations on a diary card, which were then reported to the study doctor or the patient's GP.

The median time between onset of the exacerbation and physician consultation was two days, and the median recovery time was 10.7 days.

Earlier treatment was associated with a shorter recovery time, and regression analysis showed for each day that

treatment was delayed, re-

covery time increased by

half a day.

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