Pulmonary Disorders: Asthma

sec_arr Introduction

Author: L. Kristian Arnold, MD, MPH, FACOEM, FACEP

Publication year: 2019



The well-educated, well-motivated law enforcement officer (LEO) with certain well-managed pulmonary disorders may be able to safely and effectively perform essential job functions. For many pulmonary disorders, the severity of the disease and compliance with the recommended management plan will determine the LEO’s ability to safely perform job duties, rather than the specific diagnosis or management plan. This section addresses disorders of the lungs, bronchi, pleura, and thoracic cage, including the diaphragm. Disorders of the oropharynx, larynx, and trachea will be addressed in the otorhinolaryngology (ENT) chapter (in development). Disordered nocturnal respiratory conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea, are discussed in the Sleep Disorders chapter. Disorders related to gas transfer beyond the pulmonary/blood interface are discussed in the Cardiology and Hematology (in development) chapters.

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) both have acute and chronic aspects of airflow obstruction that may adversely affect safe performance of law enforcement job functions.