Section B8Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a disease that causes air sacs in the lungs to become inflamed and scarred. As this disease process progresses, this makes the lungs thick and stiff, otherwise known as fibrotic. These patients can breathe in air, but oxygen molecules cannot pass from the alveoli to the blood stream, thus causing Progressively worsening hypoxia.
In addition, the muscular effort required to pull the stiffened lungs open increases and the patients develop rapid shallow respirations with a quick recoil, or expiration.
Although the uneducated would be skeptical, we have been successful treating pulmonary fibrosis with bronchodilators. Whenever the patient exhibits shortness of breath and/or hypoxia the maximum adult dose of Ventolin should be to administer via nebulizer at 8lpm of oxygen.
The shortness of breath should immediately abate and the pulse oximeter should read in the 90's. If this is not the case. immediately administer another full dose of Ventolin at 8lpm of oxygen. This regimen may be safely repeated at any interval for however long it takes.
The action of the bronchodilator is to soften and loosen the scar tissue which is adhering to the walls of the alveoli.
It is a time consuming process, one which will eventually allow the patient to become without respiratory distress. You may encounter resistance form certain Respiratory Therapists, but do not give them any credence. They are, after all, only trying to get out of work.