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Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary Fibrosis

07/14/2011

Question:

Mother almost died in 2003 with COPD. Just found out that she has Pulmonary Fibrosis and probably has had it since 2003. She is 79 years old and has on 30% lung capacity. Now in nursing home and hospice with 5 liters of oxygen and 4 miligrams of morphine every 4 hours. How long can she live like this. Doctor said only had several months, but she really seems to be improving.


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 progress more slowly. The question that you are asking regarding prognosis is a very common and an appropriate one; however, the answer depends on information about your mother’s individual health situation.

I think it would be very appropriate for you and your mother to meet with her pulmonologist to discuss your concerns. Your mother should also discuss her wishes regarding life support care and hospice care to help manage her symptoms.

Best wishes.

For more information:

Go to the Pulmonary Fibrosis health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nitin Y Bhatt, MD Nitin Y Bhatt, MD
Clinical Assisstant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University