1. Baqdunes, Mohammad Wisam MD
  2. Leap, Jennifer DO
  3. Young, Meilin MD
  4. Kaura, Amit MD
  5. Cheema, Tariq MD, FCCP, MMM


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and results in an economic and social burden that is both substantial and increasing. The natural history of COPD is punctuated by exacerbations, which have major short- and long-term implications on the patient and health care system. Evidence-based guidelines stipulate that early detection and prompt treatment of exacerbations are essential to ensure optimal outcomes and to reduce the burden of COPD. In this review, we provide a concise overview of COPD exacerbations and their risk factors and etiology (infection vs noninfectious), outlining the initial evaluation, triaging, and current management including invasive and noninvasive ventilation, in addition to the prognosis and the preventive strategies.