Advanced Lung Disease at End of Life

We offered this webinar on November 7, 2019.

The goal of this webinar is to educate physicians and healthcare professionals about the medical management of advanced lung disease (ALD) and the value of advance care planning for end-of-life patients.

Through a case study and review of evidence-based literature, attendees understand types of ALD, common symptom burdens associated with a poorer prognosis, hospice eligibility guidelines and pharmacologic/nonpharmacologic solutions that address pain, reduce hospital readmissions and provide patient-centered care to ALD patients and their families.

What Attendees Learned at this Webinar:

  1. Advanced lung disease (ALD) is a major reason for patient visits to primary care physicians. ADL encompasses asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis and cystic fibrosis.
  2. Hospice is underutilized in ALD patients, even though it is the only post-acute care option that offers multiple levels of care to match patients’ symptoms and preferences.
  3. ALD symptoms include dyspnea, fatigue/weakness, anorexia, edema, excessive respiratory mucous production, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances and cough, wheezing and chest tightness.
  4. Determining hospice eligibility is variable. ALD patients tend to show similar decline within the last 6-12 months of life, including more frequent COPD exacerbations and healthcare visits/ admissions, labored or rapid breathing (even at rest), oxygen or steroid dependency, worsening symptom burden that negatively impacts quality of life and activities of daily living, weight loss, depression/ isolation, recent intubation and less effective response to medications or treatments.
  5. Timely referral to hospice care reduces hospital readmissions, avoids unnecessary/invasive procedures at the end of life, manages patients’ pain and symptoms, relieves burdens on families/caregivers and meets patients’ preferences to die comfortably at home.

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Featured VITAS Expert

Eric Shaban MD

Eric Shaban, MD

Regional Medical Director - Northeast and Midwest, VITAS Healthcare

Eric Shaban, MD is a Regional Medical Director for VITAS Healthcare. Dr. Shaban collaborates on clinical programs and supports the growth of VITAS’ programs in Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Ohio.

Prior to joining VITAS in 2011, Dr. Shaban completed a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York. In 2010, he was the recipient of the Michael R. Katz MD Award by AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

He is a member of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and is board certified in Internal Medicine and in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

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Get answers to frequently asked questions about our webinars on end-of-life care, including: How do I register for a webinar? What do I need to participate in a webinar? Who can I contact with questions about VITAS webinars?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About VITAS Webinars