What is it?

The COPD Zone Sheet and Symptom Log can be used to help monitor COPD symptoms.

How can it help me?

The COPD Zone Sheet and Symptom Log can be used to monitor COPD symptoms and recognize when flare-ups or emergency occurs. These tools help identify flare-ups early so an individual with COPD can get the necessary treatment to keep them healthy at home and avoid trips to the emergency department.

Watch the video below to learn about Malik and his wife’s journey with managing COPD.

VIDEO SUMMARY

  • Malik is 67 years old and lives with his wife at home. Malik smokes cigarettes but has cut back in recent years.

  • One day, Malik develops a bad cough and chest pain. Fearing it may be a heart attack, his wife calls 911 and Malik is taken to the hospital. He is diagnosed with pneumonia and COPD.

  • Malik is referred to a home care agency and meets with a care coordinator. He is referred to a nurse who teaches him skills and introduces the COPD Zone Sheet and Symptom Log to help manage symptoms and avoid emergencies.

COPD Zone Sheet

Use questions on the Zone Sheet to know when someone with COPD is doing well (green zone), when they need to call a doctor (yellow zone), and when they need to go to the hospital (red zone) based on their symptoms.

Asking the questions below daily can help determine which zone someone is in:
  • Have they used their rescue/blue inhalers or oxygen more often?
  • Is there any change in their breathing (e.g., takes longer to walk, may have more difficulty on stairs, unable to speak after walking)?
  • Are they able to participate in usual daily activities?
  • Are they complaining of having chest pain? Is this new or more frequent?
  • Any changes in their saliva or mucus, also known as sputum (e.g., changes in amount, colour, consistency)?
  • Any changes in their appetite?
GREEN ZONE

All clear

Continue activities as usual
  • No fever

  • No increase in shortness of breath

  • No increase in the amount, thickness or stickiness of mucous (phlegm or sputum)

All clear

Continue activities as usual
YELLOW ZONE

Warning Zone

Call physician
  • No increase in the amount, thickness or stickiness of mucous (phlegm or sputum)

  • New cough, or a cough that is worse than usual

  • Increased or new shortness of breath

  • A change in colour, amount, or thickness from normal mucous (phlegm or sputum)

  • Fever above 38° Celsius (100.4° Fahrenheit)

Warning Zone

Call physician
RED ZONE

Emergency

Call 911
  • Struggling to breathe or can't catch their breath

  • Heart is 'racing'

  • Can't think clearly or feeling confused

  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded

  • Have sudden chest pain that won't go away

Emergency

Call 911