Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library COPD Action Plan

COPD Action Plan

Overview

Knowing how to treat your COPD can help you feel better and give you peace of mind. This is true for everyday care and for when your symptoms get worse.

When your symptoms suddenly get much worse, it's called a COPD exacerbation, or a flare-up. Quick treatment at home may help you manage a flare-up. Having an action plan can help you be prepared.

It's also important that your family, friends, and caregivers know what to do when your symptoms get worse. If you can't care for yourself in an emergency, others need to know how they can help you.

How to use an action plan

  • Fill out this action plan with your doctor.
  • Keep a copy of your plan where others can find it, such as on your fridge or in another handy place.
  • If you use a metered-dose inhaler, keep these instructions handy so someone else will know how it's used if you need help.
  • Know when to call your doctor or get medical help right away. As you know, COPD can cause serious breathing problems, so it's important to know when to get help.

My COPD action plan

Name of my doctor or clinic:

Address:

Phone:

Who to call in an emergency:

Phone:

Green Zone: Feeling well

  • Usual amount of coughing and mucus
  • Able to do normal activities
  • Have a good appetite
  • Sleeping well
  • Take daily medicines for COPD.
  • Eat well and get regular exercise.
  • Avoid cigarette smoke and other triggers, such as air pollution.
  • Use oxygen as my doctor recommends.
  • Do breathing exercises to improve airflow and help keep my lungs clear.
  • Find ways to conserve energy.
  • Other recommendations from my doctor:

___________________________________

Yellow Zone: Flare-up

  • New or worse trouble breathing (shortness of breath or wheezing)
  • More mucus than normal
  • Coughing more than usual, with or without mucus
  • Medicines not helping symptoms
  • Using quick-relief medicines more often
  • Have a fever
  • Have less energy than usual
  • Not sleeping well
  • Chest feels tight
  • Feeling less hungry than usual
  • Have more swelling in legs than usual
  • Other symptoms:
  • Stay calm and don't panic.
  • Take quick-relief medicines as directed by my doctor.
  • Keep taking daily medicines.
  • Take other medicines (such as corticosteroids or antibiotics) as directed by my doctor.
  • Use oxygen as recommended by my doctor.
  • Try doing pursed-lip breathing.
  • Avoid cigarette smoke and other triggers, such as air pollution.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Call the doctor right away if my symptoms don't get better.
  • Other recommendations from my doctor:

If I have these symptoms, I need this medicine (type and name):

I take this much, up to this maximum dose:

Normal dose: _______ Max dose: _______

Red Zone: Get medical care right away

  • Can't do activity because of trouble breathing
  • Shortness of breath is severe even while resting
  • Have a fever with shaking and chills
  • Coughing up blood, or dark brown or bloody mucus
  • Have chest pain
  • Cannot sleep because of trouble breathing
  • Feel very sleepy or confused
  • Other symptoms:

________________________________

________________________________

  • Call 911 or get medical care right away.
  • While I'm getting help, take the following actions as directed by my doctor:

________________________________

________________________________

If I have these symptoms, I need this medicine (type and name):


I take this much, up to this maximum dose:

Normal dose: _______ Max dose: _______

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details