Questions for the doctor
This checklist is a collection of questions gathered from a variety of sources and people
with COPD that we have met over a period of time. More questions could be added to fit
your individual need as well.
These are only suggestions, designed to help you preplan for your early
- What is my exact diagnosis? Is it mild, moderate or severe?
- Exactly which components are predominant?
- What do you think will be the progression of my particular case of
- Is this treatable and what medications should I take?
- What is the purpose of each of the medications that you have prescribed?
- Please explain the side effects of these medications?
- Do you have any samples of the medications you will prescribe?
- What spacer do you want me to use and do you have one?
- What do I do if these medications do not seem to help me?
- Under what circumstances do you prescribe steroids
(prednisone), either inhaled or oral?
- Will you order routine PFTs (pulmonary function studies), chest x-rays and ABGs (arterial blood gas) and how often do you repeat them?
- What do the tests mean? And I would like a copy for my records.
- How can I slow down the progression of this disease?
- Will vitamins, exercise, etc., help and which ones?
- Will you refer me to pulmonary rehabilitation?
- Do you have an assistant or someone to teach me the proper use of these inhalers and educate me on the basics of COPD and its management?
- Do you arrange for oxygen therapy for your patients that meet the criteria for need?
- Would you order a baseline Bone Density Scan so we can monitor any bone mineral loss? (If you are on
- How many physicians in your group are on call for COPD exacerbations in an emergency?
- Is there always a doctor available by phone?
- When should I go to the ER if I cannot reach you?
- Does the hospital you routinely admit to have a full-service Intensive Care Unit to manage respiratory critical care?
- How can I avoid infections and what do I do if I think I have one?
- Will a peak flow meter help me? If so, how?
- Since I have multiple diseases, please explain to me how you think one will affect the others?
- Will you prescribe antibiotics for me to keep on hand at home in case I get sick on a weekend or holiday?
Under what circumstances should I begin taking the antibiotics?
- Do you routinely give annual influenza vaccinations?
- Should I have a Pneumovax vaccination, and when should I have it repeated?
- How much of my total care will you be responsible for and when should I see my family practitioner?
Compiled by COPD-International
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Last modified: June 17, 2002