What is end-stage lung disease?

End-stage lung disease is the most severe form of a lung disease. When a specific lung disease progresses to the point that lung function is seriously compromised, the disease is considered "end-stage." Most patients are diagnosed with a specific lung disease long before it progresses to end-stage.

Do lung transplants help with end-stage lung disease?

A lung transplant can be an option for some patients with end-stage lung disease. The Lung Transplant Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) offers single and bilateral (double) lung transplantation for appropriate candidates with a variety of end-stage lung diseases, including:

Learn more about lung transplantation.

Does oxygen therapy help with end-stage lung disease?

If you do not have enough oxygen in your blood, you may need supplemental oxygen. Devices are available that deliver pure oxygen to your lungs. Many devices are small, portable and convenient to use.

Read more about the benefits of oxygen therapy.

How can you manage symptoms of end-stage lung disease?

You can help manage the symptoms of end-stage lung disease by:

  • Quitting smoking and all tobacco products
  • Avoiding any known irritants that may cause lung inflammation
  • Getting an annual flu and pneumonia vaccine
  • Preparing for emergencies and periods of exacerbations
  • Meeting with your healthcare team frequently to monitor your health
  • Receiving emotional support through therapy or support groups
  • End-of-Life Care for End-Stage Lung Disease
  • It is important to discuss your end-of-life wishes with your healthcare team and family. Your plan may include palliative and hospice care to help manage severe symptoms.

The Palliative Care team at the Brigham includes physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, clergy members and a personal case manager to manage pain and other symptoms, as well as promote open communication about care.

What can you expect for end-stage lung disease care?

When you become a patient, our team of experts will develop a personalized, multidisciplinary care plan based on your disease and current research. Your health will be closely monitored and managed to slow the disease progress and alleviate symptoms. You will also have access to patient support groups.

Who treats end-stage lung disease?

Collaboration between pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, physical therapists, social workers, nutritionists and dedicated nurses provides comprehensive, expert care for patients who have end-stage lung disease. Our multidisciplinary team members are recognized experts and have created one of the most advanced programs in the country for end-stage lung disease.

How do I make an appointment or find directions?

What other resources are available on end-stage lung disease?

Visit the Kessler Health Education Library in the Bretholtz Center for Patients and Families to access computers and knowledgeable staff.

Access a complete directory of patient and family services.

Learn more about Brigham and Women's Hospital

For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

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