Table 1

Indicators of severity of exacerbation in COPD from BTS guidelines3

Poor general condition
 Living alone
Receiving long term oxygen therapy
Normally housebound
Rapid rate of onset (<1 day)
Impaired level of consciousness
Acute confusion
Severe breathlessness
Recent worsening of peripheral oedema
New acute changes on radiograph
Arterial pH <7.35
Arterial Pao 2 <7 kPa
  • Bold items indicate those used for an obligatory admission.