Management of acute COPD exacerbations in the internal medicine departments in Israel–a national survey

Amir Bar-Shai, Ophir Freund*, Tal Ovdat, Michael J. Segel, Robert Klempfner, Avishay Elis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD) drastically affect the clinical course of the disease. We aimed to evaluate the treatment of AECOPD in the internal medicine departments in Israel, nationwide. Methods: The COPD Israeli survey (COPDIS) is the first national survey of patients admitted with AECOPD to internal medicine departments between 2017 and 2019. The survey includes prospective (n = 344) and retrospective (n = 1,166) data from 13 medical centers. We analyzed the pre-hospital, in-hospital, and pre-discharge care. Hospital evaluation, outcomes and discharge recommendations were assessed as well. Results: The mean (±SD) age was 74 (±8) years, and 54% were males. 74% had comorbidities, and 88% had a diagnosis of COPD in their history. 70% of the patients received systemic steroids and antibiotics during their hospitalization, yet upon discharge, a lower rate of antibiotics prescription (10%) was found. Treatment with most long-acting bronchodilators dramatically dropped during admission, compared with their pre-hospital use. Overall, a long-acting bronchodilator (LABD) was used by 47% before admission, 28% in-hospital, and was prescribed to 54% at discharge. The discharge plan included a referral to pulmonary rehabilitation in only 11% and a smoking cessation recommendation in 43% of active smokers. The in-hospital mortality was 3% and the 1-year mortality rate was 25%. In multivariate analysis, performing a chest X-ray (adjusted OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.46–0.90) and prescribing LABD at discharge (AOR 0.73, 95% CI 0.57–0.95) were independent predictors for lower 1-year mortality. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate AECOPD characteristics in Israel, and highlight several important gaps in AECOPD healthcare, which must be addressed to improve patient care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1174148
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
StatePublished - 2023


  • adherence to guidelines
  • bronchodilators
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • exacerbation (symptom flare up)
  • hospital
  • internal medicine


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