Nettergram of pink puffer
A descriptive term for a patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease–COPD and severe emphysema, who has a pink complexion and dyspnoea. Pink puffers have increased residual lung capacity and volume, decreased elastic recoil, decreased expiratory flow rate and diffusing capacity and a ventilatory/perfusion–V/Q mismatch secondary to emphysema-related destruction of blood vessels
Clinical findings Shortness of breath, hyperventilation
ABGs Usually near normal due to compensatory hyperventilation; arterial pO2 is in the mid-70s, pCO2 is low to normal. Pink puffers have increased tidal volume and retraction of accessory respiratory muscles.
Note: Pink puffers may be clinically indistinguishable from the so-called blue bloaters; thus the term pink puffer is more colourful than useful.