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Tuesday, December 10, 2013
My mother was diagnosed with PF 5 years ago. She has had severe shortness of breath and the dry cough associated with end stage. She does see a pulmonologist on a regular basis and I am always there since I don`t allow her to drive herself. Is it proper to ask him if he could predict her prognosis at this stage or should I call him privately? She and I talk openly about the disease and the fact of her dying.
The questions that you are asking regarding prognosis and treatment for the symptoms of shortness of breath and cough as a patient with pulmonary fibrosis who approaches end-stage are very appropriate questions. I think it would be very appropriate for you and your mother to meet with your pulmonologist to discuss these questions. Your mother should also discuss her wishes regarding life support care and options for hospice care to help manage her symptoms.
Nitin Y Bhatt, MD
Clinical Assisstant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University