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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

When to visit 85 year old mom



My mom (85 yrs old)smoked for 55 years, quitting at age 70. Her emphysema has progressed to the severe state in which she suffers constant muscle spasms and is using oxygen to breathe. Her health, otherwise, has been good and she only gave up her 3 day a week golf games two years ago. I am trying to decide how and when to back my bags and travel the 1500 miles to help her. As I must work, I need to be time sensitive.


Without knowing any of her lung function or functional capacity it would be hard for us to tell you how severe her emphysema is or how end stage she currently is. You may have to make the decision by discussing this with her, her physicians, or other people who are close to her at this time.

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Response by:

Mahasti   Rittinger, RRT Mahasti Rittinger, RRT
Clinical Program Manager of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University

Phillip T Diaz, MD Phillip T Diaz, MD
Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University