When is COPD an emergency?

Labored breathing. Many patients with COPD will have some difficulty breathing, particularly during exertion- this is part of the disease and to be expected. If breathing becomes labored, especially at rest, the patient should be evaluated quickly by a doctor as they may not be able to maintain the level of effort required to continue breathing at this level for long.
Worsening breathing. When patient has more difficulty to breathe or feeling worst than his usual state of health, when his oxygen saturation drops significantly, or when the usual medicines do not provide the usual relief.
During exacerbations. Typically with a copd exacerbation, you will get very short of breath and your oxygen levels can drop. Also, your CO2 levels can rise which can lead to confusion and unconsciousness. .