The goal of the COPE action plan is to help patients diagnosed with COPD participate in activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing and bathing and reduce your visits to the emergency department and admissions to the hospital. Additional goals are to recognize what your normal symptoms are and how to identify and manage a flare-up of your symptoms. Your oxygen needs will be identified for rest and for walking. You will learn the skills to help manage your COPD and adapt healthy lifestyle behaviors. This is your guide to be used to write down questions and share with family members and caregivers.Wishing you success with the COPE ACTION PLAN!


The main reason for a flare-up of your COPD is an infection. You may have caught a cold from a visiting family member and now you notice changes in your mucus and you are more short of breath. (Frequent handwashing helps prevent the spread of germs.)
The symptoms of a respiratory infection are:
  1. Your mucus is now yellow or green and you may notice more mucus and it may be thicker. The mucus may also have a odor to it.
  2. You are more short of breath than usual and it is harder to do normal activities, dressing, bathing, etc.
  3. You may feel more tired than usual and have a sore throat and/or feel like you have a cold. You might have a fever and runny nose. Your chest may feel tight and you may be wheezing (a whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe).
Contact your resource person and doctor to review your action plan and how you use it to decrease hospital re-admissions and emergency department visits. Your COPE action plan is to be used for only COPD flare-ups. There are other reasons you may get short of breath such as congestive heart failure. If you develop shortness of breath and you do not have symptoms of a COPD flare-up see your doctor. An essential part of your plan is to have the phone numbers of your contacts close at hand. These are the key people you can call when you have a problem with your symptoms or treatment.