Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dix, Hamm, and Pulmonary Fibrosis

I mentioned pulmonary fibrosis in my last post. We had three big cases on our ICU in April, all three of them pretty difficult.

Pulmonary fibrosis is essentially scar tissue-- the formation of thick, tough, fibrous tissue that grows through and fucks with your lungs until you die of not being able to breathe. Imagine a transporter accident like in The Fly, but between a pile of wet cardboard and your dick, and you’ve got a little of the idea.

The treatments for pulmonary fibrosis include nebulizers to help open the parts that aren’t scarred up; steroids to reduce the growth of scar tissue (not always effective); and a host of other last-chance drugs that might have been helpful, maybe once, to some other pt whose pulmonary fibrosis took a little longer than usual to kill them. It might have been another drug, or luck, or fucking homeopathy for all the proof we have, but if it might have worked, we’re probably gonna try it.

The cure for pulmonary fibrosis is a lung transplant.

So when our first pulm fibrosis pt turned up eligible for an eventual transplant, we transferred them to the hospital where they would live until they either died or went on the table. We don’t do lung transplants here. They’re complicated.