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IPF: Information for Caregivers

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This information was reviewed and approved by Jeffrey James Swigris, DO, MS (9/1/2017).

There is no formal staging system for IPF. However, thinking of the disease in four stages can help IPF caregivers prioritize their needs and keep them from feeling overwhelmed. 

Although education regarding a variety of topics can occur at any time, the stages below may help caregivers focus on what is needed and what to expect in the future.


Caregiving and The Four Stages of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

  • Stage 1: Recently diagnosed

  • Stage 2Needing oxygen with activity, but not at rest

  • Stage 3: Needing oxygen 24 hours a day, with activity, at rest and during sleep

  • Stage 4Advanced oxygen needs (needing high-flow oxygen or when a lightweight, portable delivery system is unable to meet a patient’s needs).

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