Cystic Fibrosis

The Cystic Fibrosis and Pulmonary Center at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, established in 1993, is a nationally accredited facility with more than 50 years of combined experience in providing care to patients with cystic fibrosis. Our board-certified doctors have trained in the specialty care of patients with cystic fibrosis and a board certified adult cystic fibrosis specialist directs the adult care component of our center. Our staff members provide comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services in the effort to extend the length and quality of life of the patients they serve. As a nationally recognized facility, we have access to some of the most recent treatment and research findings and are proud to be associated with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

When hospitalization is needed, pediatric patients receive specialized care at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. Adult cystic fibrosis patients receive specialized care at one of Memorial Healthcare System’s adult hospitals.

Keeping Cystic Fibrosis under Control

We monitor patients on a regular basis and are prepared to provide prompt, aggressive outpatient treatment to minimize symptoms and complications. If a patient shows no active symptoms, we provide regular monitoring and treatment, as research shows that preventative care helps maintain the child’s overall health.

Medications and Research

Cystic fibrosis patients are commonly prescribed medications that prevent infection and keep the lungs clear of mucus. Many patients also take pancreatic enzymes to help absorb the nutrients in food. Children may also receive other medications orally, through a nebulizer, intranasally, or intravenously through a central line such as a PICC line or a port a catheter, if needed.

While there is no cure for cystic fibrosis, new antibiotics, treatments and therapies are being studied. Antioxidant-boosting medications, for example, are a promising area of research in the prevention of lung inflammation. New gene therapies and therapeutic drugs are being developed in hopes of reversing the behavior of defective genes.

Nutritional Support

Patients with cystic fibrosis may have trouble achieving normal height and weight. The Cystic Fibrosis and Pulmonary Center at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital provides patients with nutritional support through the expertise of a registered dietitian. Through regular monitoring for cystic fibrosis-related digestive disorders, we will strive to help keep your child’s digestion and growth as normal as possible.

As a result of improvements in cystic fibrosis treatment, almost half of all Americans with cystic fibrosis today are adults. Adult patients also benefit from special dietary consultations to prevent or lessen the effects of cystic fibrosis-related diabetes, osteoporosis and other complications.

Treatment Plans for the Exacerbation of Symptoms

Under most circumstances, cystic fibrosis can be managed on an outpatient basis. When exacerbations of symptoms call for more aggressive treatment, including hospitalization, the Cystic Fibrosis and Pulmonary Center at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital will work with you and your family to create a family-centered, multidisciplinary plan of action tailored to help meet the needs of your child and your family.

Education and Ancillary Services for the Entire Family

In addition to providing world-class medical care to our patients, the center also provides extensive patient and family education about the medical, genetic and nutritional aspects of cystic fibrosis. Our team can also assist with arranging home care, financial counseling and emotional support for patients and families. Our respiratory therapists, dietitian, nurse practitioners, social workers and other professionals will work closely with you and your child to address how a person with cystic fibrosis can live a full and happy life.