Cystic fibrosis is an inherited condition that affects the lungs and digestive system. Cystic fibrosis needs daily care, but children with the condition are living longer, better lives because of improvements in diagnosis and treatment.
Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis: What You Need to Know
Although cystic fibrosis is not preventable, there are steps you can take at home to reduce complications, including:
- Improve nutrition
- High-calorie nutritional supplements
- Vitamins that are fat-soluble
- More fiber to avoid intestinal blockage
- More salt in hot weather
- Drink lots of fluids to help thin mucus
- Have all immunizations including an annual influenza vaccine
- Exercise to loosen mucus, strengthen your child's heart and lungs and build confidence
- Eliminate secondhand smoke around your child
- Frequent hand-washing to protect against getting infections
The Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Program at The University of Vermont Medical Center is a multidisciplinary clinic focused on the care and treatment of children with cystic fibrosis. The condition is best managed by a group of specialists that include:
- Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Nurse Coordinator
- Respiratory Therapist (RT)
- Registered Dietician
- Social Worker
- Child Life Specialist
At The UVM Medical Center, our physicians and other support staff work together as a team, providing expert care.
Experienced, Trusted Expertise
As a university hospital and health system, our team provides the most advanced care backed by research: we make all diagnostic and treatment recommendations based on the latest thinking in the field. When managing your child's healthcare, we know you need to make the most informed decision possible. We see our role as teachers: we give our parents and families all the information they need to know about pediatric cystic fibrosis so they feel empowered to make the best decisions possible.
What is Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis?
Pediatric cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening condition in infants and children where the cells that make mucus, sweat and digestive juices are thick and sticky instead of thin and slippery. So these secretions end up stopping up ducts, passageways and tubes especially in the pancreas and lungs.
There are a couple risk factors for cystic fibrosis:
- Family history - parent, brother or sister with cystic fibrosis
- Race - cystic fibrosis can occur in any race, but it's most common in whites of Northern European descent. The condition also happens in Hispanics, African-Americans and some Native Americans. People of Asian and Middle Eastern origin rarely inherit the disease.
Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Diagnosis and Treatment
We have been providing care to patients and families with cystic fibrosis since 1967 and have been accredited by The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation since 1968.
We serve approximately 80-90 patients in our pediatric program. Patient clinic visits are scheduled at least every three months and are vital for monitoring lung and nutritional care. By seeing patients this often, your team is better able to identify changes and provide treatment before they develop or worsen.
Find a doctor or specialist at The UVM Medical Center or call 802-847-8600.