12 doctors weighed in:
What is COPD respiratory failure?
12 doctors weighed in

Dr. Frank Mayo
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
7 doctors agree
In brief: Lung failure
Respiratory failure is the inability of the lung to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide.
One of the main causes is COPD with decreased air flow and increased work of breathing . This may cause hypoxemia or hypercarbia or both.Treatment is designed to reverse those abnormalities including oxygen and bronchodilators. Mechanical support may be required for resistent disease.

In brief: Lung failure
Respiratory failure is the inability of the lung to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide.
One of the main causes is COPD with decreased air flow and increased work of breathing . This may cause hypoxemia or hypercarbia or both.Treatment is designed to reverse those abnormalities including oxygen and bronchodilators. Mechanical support may be required for resistent disease.
Dr. Frank Mayo
Dr. Frank Mayo
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Dr. Aaron Milstone
Internal Medicine - Pulmonology
4 doctors agree
In brief: Two issues
Respiratory failure in COPD is usually related to a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood stream (known as hypercapnea).
This results in lethargy, headache, poor breathing patterns and even coma. Hypoxic respiratory failure (related to low oxygen) can occur as well but is not as common as hypercapneic respiratory failure.

In brief: Two issues
Respiratory failure in COPD is usually related to a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood stream (known as hypercapnea).
This results in lethargy, headache, poor breathing patterns and even coma. Hypoxic respiratory failure (related to low oxygen) can occur as well but is not as common as hypercapneic respiratory failure.
Dr. Aaron Milstone
Dr. Aaron Milstone
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Dr. Karen Sibert
Anesthesiology
3 doctors agree
In brief: Serious problem
COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
It's a problem with the lungs that makes it hard to breathe and can deprive the body of critical oxygen. With respiratory failure, the lungs are bad enough that a breathing tube and ventilator may be required. Treatment includes medications, oxygen, stopping smoking, and sometimes surgery depending on the exact cause of the problem.

In brief: Serious problem
COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
It's a problem with the lungs that makes it hard to breathe and can deprive the body of critical oxygen. With respiratory failure, the lungs are bad enough that a breathing tube and ventilator may be required. Treatment includes medications, oxygen, stopping smoking, and sometimes surgery depending on the exact cause of the problem.
Dr. Karen Sibert
Dr. Karen Sibert
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Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Lung failure...
Respiratory failure can occur due to a variety of problems, COPD being just one cause.
Respiratory failure occurs when the patient cannot ventilate properly resulting in a high carbon dioxide level and a low oxygen level. Treating the underlying cause of the respiratory failure is vital as well as helping the patient to ventilate sometimes even w/ mechanical ventilation.

In brief: Lung failure...
Respiratory failure can occur due to a variety of problems, COPD being just one cause.
Respiratory failure occurs when the patient cannot ventilate properly resulting in a high carbon dioxide level and a low oxygen level. Treating the underlying cause of the respiratory failure is vital as well as helping the patient to ventilate sometimes even w/ mechanical ventilation.
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Dr. Sue Ferranti
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Board Certified, Internal Medicine - Cardiology
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