Cystic fibrosis, commonly referred to as CF, is a genetic disease that places patients at risk of lung infections. Mucus build-ups in the lungs and other organs restrict the airways and create a greater risk of infection, which can create lung damage over time. Untreated, this damage can cause respiratory failure and impact several natural processes in the body.
Because CF is a progressive disease, it’s important to identify the disease in the early stages and seek treatment to assist the body’s functions. CF is usually identified by key symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing, an inability to maintain proper weight and difficulty with bowel movements. Most CF patients are diagnosed in early childhood and it’s estimated that more than 30,000 people in the United States are currently living with the disease.
One of the most dangerous and deleterious aspects of CF is the impact on the digestive process. Because mucus build-up can occur in the pancreas as well, it prohibits digestive enzymes from properly breaking down food. This can lead to malnutrition and growth problems, despite a healthy appetite and regimented diet. Mucus can also form in the liver, which can cause liver disease.
Some CF patients may be candidates for a lung transplant. To see how Total Care Rx supports our transplant patients.
Long-term care for CF patients can include a variety of treatment options. Total Care Rx works closely with referring physicians charged with patient care to ensure strict adherence to your specific program. Treatment can include the use of mucus thinners, CFTR Modulator Therapies, Antibiotics and Nebulizer treatments.
These are inhaled medications that thin mucus in the airways. There are two main types of thinners known as hypertonic saline and dornase alfa.
Because CF patients are more susceptible to infection from bacteria, antibiotics can be an effective option to eradicate bacteria and sustain a patient’s health. It’s important to ensure that the infection is caused by bacteria and not a virus, as antibiotics serve to treat bacterial infections.
A nebulizer generates mist from liquid medications that allow the patient to inhale the solution through use of a nebulizer. It’s important to pair your specific medication with the nebulizer recommended by the manufacturer. Your physician will advise on this protocol. When re-using a nebulizer at home it’s imperative to follow the proper cleaning instructions to ensure a sterile environment. Nebulizers should always be cleaned, disinfected, thoroughly rinsed and air dried. Once again, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on proper cleaning and maintenance of your home nebulizer.