Advanced Pulmonary Disease

One or any combination of any of the following signs may indicate that pulmonary disease or CHF has progressed to a point where all involved would likely benefit from hospice care:

  • Disease may include pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension
  • Disabling shortness of breath while at rest; even talking may cause shortness of breath
  • Decreased functional capacity, as evidenced by bed-to-chair existence, fatigue or cough
  • Recurring or exacerbation of pneumonia
  • Right Heart Failure (RHF) second to the pulmonary disease
  • Unintentional, progressive weight loss greater than 10 percentof body weight in the past six months
  • Resting tachycardia greater than 100/minute
  • Hypoxemia at rest on room air

Your patients may have priorities and goals aside from living longer. Talk with your patients about their health goals, fears and trade-offs of treatment. To help you determine if it’s time to recommend hospice care, ask your patients the following questions:

  1. What is your understanding of your health or your condition?
  2. What are your goals if your health worsens?
  3. What are your fears?
  4. What trade-offs are you willing to make and not willing to make?

Hospice care can help your patients, and you. We can help you determine if your patient qualifies for hospice care, or broach the topic with your patients. Please use this information as a guideline. If you have questions about the medical guidelines for hospice care or a specific patient, please contact us online or call (800) 237-4629.