Pulmonary Disorders: COPD
LEOs with On-the-job Performance Issues Potentially Related to COPD
LEOs with on-the-job performance issues potentially related to COPD should be restricted from full duty and referred to their treating physician for re-assessment and modification of any treatment.
If the LEO is cleared by the treating physician to undergo job task simulation testing, that decision should be reviewed by the police physician. If the police physician agrees with the treating physician’s decision to clear for testing, the LEO should be evaluated using job task simulation testing (see Appendix C for discussion of job task simulation testing) without any immediate pre- or during-test use of a short-acting beta agonist (SABA). If the LEO has other contraindications to physical exertion, he/she should be evaluated by the criteria in the relevant section of these guides.
- LEOs who satisfactorily perform the job task simulation testing should have no restriction from full duty for COPD, but may need further evaluation for other potential medical conditions related to the job performance issue cited.
- LEOs who are unable to satisfactorily perform the job task simulation testing, should remain restricted from full duty and be referred back to their treating physician for further assessment regarding the diagnosis as well as the treatment plan (see Appendix B regarding reassessment).
If the LEO is re-cleared by the treating physician to undergo job task simulation testing, that decision should again be reviewed by the police physician. If the police physician agrees with the treating physician’s decision to clear for testing, the LEO should repeat the same job task simulation testing previously performed.
This process may be repeated per agency policy. However, to be cleared for full duty, LEOs should successfully complete job task simulation testing consistent with their agency’s essential job functions (see Appendix C).
LEOs who had on-the-job performance issues potentially related to COPD who have been re-evaluated, have satisfactorily completed the job task simulation testing, and have no other restriction from full duty should be monitored on a regular basis. A monitoring schedule should be established by the police physician to assess for progression of the disease and evaluation regarding exacerbations. It is the consensus of the ACOEM LEO Task Group that initial follow-up should be performed at 3 months, with further follow-up per categorizations used above of mild through very severe.
COPD with Oxygen Dependence
LEOs with COPD that has progressed to the point of use of supplemental oxygen throughout the day, should be restricted from full duty (see Appendix E). LEOs with COPD using supplemental oxygen only at night should be placed on modified duty and evaluated per the criteria under the section for “Very Severe COPD.”
LEOs with asthma/COPD syndrome should be assessed through a combination of the above evaluation recommendations and those for asthma (see Appendix F for discussion).