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Pulmonary Palliative Care 

Pulmonary Palliative Care
Chapter:
Pulmonary Palliative Care
Author(s):

Patricia A. Maani-Fogelman

, and Ruby A. Weller

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190862374.003.0046
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date: 24 August 2019

People with advanced lung disease have physical, psychological, social, and spiritual issues that reduce their quality of life. While they may receive life-prolonging treatment, this usually does not address these other essential components. Symptom management is essential and should address air hunger, exertional dyspnea, chest tightness, anxiety/panic, increased work of breathing as evidenced by increased accessory muscle use, and increased oxygen needs, along with concomitant spiritual or existential distress and grief. Early identification and intervention of pulmonary function, frequency of exacerbations, need for oxygen, and functional status are crucial. A particular challenge in managing the care of those with advanced lung disease is the unpredictability of their illness and difficulty in prognostication. Earlier involvement of palliative care in those with advanced lung disease leads to improved quality of life for patients and families, as well as a more efficient utilization of medical resources that are consistent with the patient’s wishes.

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