In addition, 600,000 people suffer from COPD in the Netherlands. Each year, 7,000 Dutch citizens die as a result of complications caused by COPD. This number is also on the increase. COPD is the 3rd leading cause of death worldwide according to The World Health Organization. People suffering from COPD are continuously starved of oxygen because their lungs are damaged beyond repair. The current medications and therapies focus on trying to keep the lungs healthy for as long as possible. Even so, more and more lung tissue is slowly lost as COPD progresses. Many patients become dependent on extra oxygen. Sometimes, a lung transplant is their only hope.