Cystic Fibrosis In-Home Care
The Women’s and Children’s Hospital has expanded its model of care for children with Cystic Fibrosis, ensuring greater accessibility for in-home services that help mitigate risks of COVID-19.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a lung and digestive condition that can leave patients more vulnerable to serious illness if infected with the virus. As the threat of COVID-19 became more apparent in South Australia, families looked to reduce unnecessary travel wherever possible.
The Respiratory and Sleep Medicine team at the WCH swung into action, supporting Cystic Fibrosis patients to receive the same treatment and testing they receive at the hospital, without leaving home.
Amy De Michelle, Cystic Fibrosis Nurse Consultant, says the team worked team worked diligently to ensure every aspect of care was considered.
“One of the most important objective measures that we use to assess CF patients aged 5 and over is lung function, so it was really important that we could provide this service in the home for appropriate patients,” she said.
“Our Lung Lab have put a huge amount of work into this. We are still in the early stages of performing lung function in the home, but so far it has been very successful.”
The in-home care program involved providing patients with the necessary testing tools and software, producing step-by-step tutorial videos and delivering an abundance of additional support resources.
Telehealth has also played a vital role when talking patients and families through their appointments.
13-year-old Josh Weller (pictured) has been one of the first Cystic Fibrosis patients to utilise the new program. By all accounts it’s been a smooth transition.
“Josh seamlessly adjusted to the new process,” said his father, Greg.
“He uses laptops at school and is very proficient on the iPad and iPhone, so being able to conduct a lung function test at home using his own laptop was logical and natural for him.”
Avoiding trips to the hospital has also been a welcome relief for parents like Greg.
“It had been particularly frustrating when the only thing really requiring us to go into WCH for a clinic was for the lung function tests. Now that we can do that at home using the software and special equipment, it makes it so much easier,” he said.
“With COVID, there are so many other stresses and worries that you have to deal with on a daily basis and thus, not having to worry about going into WCH is great.”
“We also don’t have to worry about finding a parking spot!”
The Cystic Fibrosis in-home model of care has been made possible by The Hospital Research Foundation, who generously funded the spirometers required for lung function testing.
You can find out more about our Respiratory and Sleep Medicine team here: