TABLE 1

Recommendations for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations

RecommendationStrengthQuality of evidence
1For ambulatory patients with an exacerbation of COPD, we suggest a short course (≤14 days) of oral corticosteroidsConditionalVery low
2For ambulatory patients with an exacerbation of COPD, we suggest the administration of antibioticsConditionalModerate
3For patients who are hospitalised with a COPD exacerbation, we suggest the administration of oral corticosteroids rather than intravenous corticosteroids if gastrointestinal access and function are intactConditionalLow
4For patients who are hospitalised with a COPD exacerbation associated with acute or acute-on-chronic respiratory failure, we recommend the use of noninvasive mechanical ventilationStrongLow
5For patients with a COPD exacerbation who present to the emergency department or hospital, we suggest a home-based management programme (hospital-at-home)ConditionalModerate
6For patients who are hospitalised with a COPD exacerbation, we suggest the initiation of pulmonary rehabilitation within 3 weeks after hospital dischargeConditionalVery low
7For patients who are hospitalised with a COPD exacerbation, we suggest not initiating pulmonary rehabilitation during hospitalisationConditionalVery low