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Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary Fibrosis

04/14/2011

Question:

My husband is PF for about 4 years. Just within the last few weeks he can`t walk without is oxygen level falling to low 70`s to high 60`s. The doctor suggests he put the oxygen level to 4 or 5. he gets so panicky when he can`t catch is breathe. What can i do to help me? Is this a sign that he is getting to the end of this disease?

Answer:

Thank you for your inquiry. It is difficult to answer specific questions about the course of an individual's disease. Certain types of pulmonary fibrosis can progress very quickly while others move more slowly. I would urge you and your husband to meet with his doctors to speak about his symptoms, the doctors' thoughts about the progression of his disease, and goals for his ongoing care and symptom management. If the physicians do not feel that there are any potentially reversible causes for the worsening of your husband's symptoms or any additional therapy for the pulmonary fibrosis, let the doctors know that you are particularly concerned regarding the shortness of breath, assuring your husband's ongoing comfort, and end of life planning. It may be helpful for you to suggest a referral to a Palliative Care specialist (or seek one out yourself), who may be able to anticipate and help you plan for the course of your husband's disease and manage his symptoms. I hope this is helpful to you. I wish you and your husband well.

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Response by:

Amy L Pope-Harman, MD Amy L Pope-Harman, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University