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Presentation Cystic Fibrosis

Great PowerPoint white group, very informational. This presentation brought up a memory I had when I was treating a patient diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) when she was a toddler. She was Caucasian and about 30 years old. She was also positive for THC, amphetamines and opiates. Her family confirmed she was addicted to marijuana, cocaine and heroin. She also has two kids ages 7 and 9. The patients parents had full custody of the kids and the patient only saw them occasionally. She came to the ICU on a ventilator. We tried for approximately two weeks to try to wean her off the ventilator but were unsuccessful. This is when the patient’s parents agreed to ask the patient is she wanted to have a tracheostomy placed or palliative care. When the patient was awake, she nodded appropriately to questions and would even write with a pen and paper. The medical staff told her she was too weak to be weaned from the ventilator due to her cystic fibrosis and the damage to her lungs were severe from substance abuse. She refused to have a tracheostomy and insisted with palliative care. She wrote a note asking to see her kids before we preceded with palliative care. It was so sad. She was able to visit with her two kids, I can still remember the look on the patient’s face and her family. This was such a heartbreaking story.

According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website and as in your PowerPoint presentation, people with chronic illnesses like CF have a greater risk for developing clinical depression. Researchers found that people with CF are more likely to experience depression than people in the general population (2018). Substance abuse can be a way for an individual to forget about their chronic illness and numb their pain., although substance abuse can make an individual feel better in the short term, over time this kind of abuse can make the depression worse (Cystic Fibrosis Center of Idaho, 2018). Substance abuse with an individual with CF can be deadly as seen in my patient’s story.


Cystic Fibrosis Center of Idaho. (2018). Substance Abuse. Retrieved from