June 13, 2016

Calling for GPs to register for our winter COPD exacerbation campaign

GPs are invited to register for our winter campaign to reduce hospitalisations of people with COPD. Based on the success of our pilot in 2015, Lung Foundation Australia is working with eight Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to deliver the campaign.

COPD is the second leading cause of preventable hospital admissions in Australia[i].  Each COPD exacerbation (flare-up of symptoms) does long-term damage to patients. In people hospitalised due to COPD, the risk of death may be greater than a heart attack[ii].

The campaign, called ‘Have the CHAT’, encourages conversations between COPD patients, their carers and GPs to understand the symptoms of an exacerbation and highlight the importance of going to a doctor quickly, to stay well and out of hospital.

The ‘CHAT’ acronym highlights common symptoms associated with a COPD exacerbation:

  • Coughing more than usual
  • Harder to breathe than usual
  • Any change in sputum (phlegm) colour or volume, and
  • Tired more than usual.

GPs, practice managers and practice nurses are also encouraged to register online and download resources to help in the management of COPD.

Campaign collateral including posters, flyers, and videos for waiting room monitors and social media content is available to help raise awareness of the issue.

To register for the ‘Have the CHAT’ campaign visit https://lungfoundation.com.au/have-the-chat/register/

[i] Page A, Ambrose S, Glover J et al. Atlas of Avoidable Hospitalisations in Australia: ambulatory care-sensitive conditions.  Adelaide PHIDU. University of Adelaide.  2007.

[ii] Halpin D. Mortality in COPD: Inevitable or Preventable? Insights from the Cardiovascular Arena. COPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 2008. 5:3, 187-200