COPD is short for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). It is a collective name for chronic bronchitis, chronic bronchiolitis and pulmonary emphysema. COPD is an incurable disease that becomes more and more serious as patients get older. COPD is an inflammation of the lungs, which obstructs the airways. In approximately 80 percent of cases, the inflammation is caused by tobacco smoke, but other forms of air pollution and hereditary properties can also cause COPD.

COPD patients have a chronic cough and shortness of breath and also regularly suffer from acute bronchitis and infection of the upper airways. Unlike asthma, COPD mainly occurs in older patients (from the age of 40 onwards).
Hospital admissions for COPD are usually connected with infections of the airways, oxygen deficiency, serious shortness of breath and a poor response to medication.