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Cystic Fibrosis - Treatment Overview

Treating complications continued...

Most people who have complications will need to stay in the hospital. Treatment for complications may include medicines or surgery, depending on the person's age and symptoms.

The doctor may do tests, such as a chest X-ray, to know what kinds of problems your child is having.

Other treatments for complications from cystic fibrosis may include:

  • Blood transfusions and medicines to treat the bleeding (embolization therapy), if your child is coughing up large amounts of blood. Coughing up small amounts of blood is normal for people who have cystic fibrosis. But coughing up large amounts of blood can be life-threatening.
  • Placement of a semipermanent intravenous (IV) tube to give your child antibiotics frequently without having to place a line in the vein each time.

Home care for cystic fibrosis

Home treatment is very important. It can make a person with cystic fibrosis feel better and live longer. Here are some things you can do at home, or help your child do, to help prevent more serious health problems like lung infections:

If your newborn has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, avoid placing him or her in day care for at least 6 months to 1 year, if possible. Care for your baby at home.

As children with cystic fibrosis get older, it is important for them to learn how to help care for themselves. Even though it can be hard to follow a treatment plan every day, there are many benefits of home treatments. Skipping a treatment may not make a person feel worse right away. But it raises the chances of having more serious problems later.

Getting support

Handling the challenges of caring for a child who has cystic fibrosis can be difficult. Take good care of yourself, physically and emotionally, so that you can give your child the best care possible.

Many people with cystic fibrosis and their families need emotional support to help them live with this genetic disease. Support groups, counseling, and education about the disease can be very helpful not only for people who have cystic fibrosis but also for their families.

It is also important to talk about the kind of medical procedures you want or don't want for yourself or for your child.

Research for new treatments

Medical researchers are looking at gene transfer therapy. It involves introducing healthy genes into the lung cells of people who have cystic fibrosis.

Researchers are also investigating protein repair therapy, or protein assist therapy. This treatment involves taking medicines that help the defective protein work more normally to allow a small amount of salt and water to move out of cells.

Gene transfer and protein repair therapies are in the experimental, developmental stages. Clinical trials are being conducted.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 08, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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