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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, describes a group of lung conditions that make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs because your airways have been narrowed. Two of these lung conditions are persistent bronchitis and emphysema, which can also occur together. With both conditions, lungs are less able to take in oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide.



  •  Bronchitis means the airways are inflamed and narrowed. People with bronchitis often produce sputum, or phlegm.
  •  Emphysema affects the air sacs at the end of the airways in your lungs. They break down and the lungs become baggy and full of holes which trap air.

Millions of people across the UK have COPD and don’t even know it. They’re struggling with their symptoms causing a lower quality of life whilst the illness is progressing without them even knowing.

Let’s help raise awareness of COPD and find the missing millions of people and help them get the support they deserve.

Typically, COPD develops slowly, and symptoms such as cough, increased mucus production, difficulty sleeping, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest and wheezing gradually worsen as the illness progresses. COPD affects the lungs’ elasticity, which makes it difficult for a patient to exhale properly. Complications include high blood pressure, heart attack & a higher risk of respiratory infections – including pneumonia.


COPD usually develops because of long-term damage to your lungs from breathing in a harmful substance, usually cigarette smoke, as well as smoke from other sources, air pollution, chemical fumes or exposure to asbestos and other toxic workplace dust.

People who have asbestosis, a lung disease caused by asbestos, may develop COPD as a complication. Asbestos is also a known cause of pleural mesothelioma, a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, and it is not uncommon for mesothelioma patients to also have COPD.

Studies show that patients can expect to live 12-18 years after a COPD diagnosis, depending on the severity of the disease. You’re most likely to develop COPD if you’re over 35 and are, or have been, a smoker

Some people are more affected than others by breathing in noxious materials. COPD does seem to run in families, so if your parents had chest problems then your own risk is higher. A rare genetic condition called alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency makes people very susceptible to develop COPD at a young age.

You can also do things to help manage your condition yourself. Keeping active and doing exercise can make a big difference – many people find this helps them more than inhaled drugs.

How Acorn can help

For over sixteen years Acorn has been providing consultancy and training to wide and varied group of clients from international blue chip companies through to local businesses. We don’t just ‘sell’ training and consultancy, we take the time to ensure that’s it’s the right fit for your business and staff.

We can provide bespoke training based on a care plan to family members for someone who has COPD covering basic First Aid or Oxygen Therapy Training.  Our trainers use roleplay and simulation to support delegates gain enhanced resuscitation skills. Basic anatomy and physiology. We take into consideration a wide variety of published guidance and information from regulatory, advisory and professional bodies.  This includes the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Resuscitation Council (UK).

We also provide Face Fit testing which provides employers with written evidence that respiratory protective equipment (RPE) including half mask respirators and disposable face masks ‘fit’ employees to prevent them inhaling poisonous substances. Testing comprises an initial sensitivity test, followed by a number of practical exercises, designed to mimic typical patterns of movement employees may experience whilst wearing RPE.

Our Asbestos awareness course is IATP accredited and is aimed at owners, managers and employees of any businesses that might come into contact with or have a responsibility to manage asbestos during the course of their work. This training is a must and is of particular interest to anyone working on buildings, particularly those built or refurbished before 2000. The course content provides delegates with an awareness of the risks associated with exposure to asbestos and how they should manage this and the Identification of asbestos and procedures to follow discovering asbestos.

For further information on any of our courses, visit our website or contact us for further information