Out-patient care

Information for children, teenagers and families

Out-patient care

All children with CF should be seen routinely in the outpatient clinic every 2 months or so. Extra visits may be necessary if children become unwell between routine visits. The purpose of routine outpatient visits is for the clinical team to check that children are as healthy as possible. We particularly focus on chest infections and on nutrition. Clinic appointments are also an opportunity to check whether there are any problems with treatments the children are taking and how they are getting on with physiotherapy. To do this as effectively as possible, children are seen by a doctor, a nurse and a physiotherapist, and have the opportunity to be seen by a dietitian, at each visit. We will routinely measure children's height and weight and collect a cough swab or sputum sample. From the age of 5 years children will also perform lung function tests at every visit.

If children are well (growing well, no cough, normal lung function) when they are seen we will usually make no changes to their treatment at the time of the clinic appointment. If their cough swab or sputum sample subsequently grows some bacteria we will contact the families after the appointment and organise (usually via their GPs) for them to start a course of antibiotics.

If there has been a change in a child's health, for example, they have a cough, or their lung function is not as good as it was, or their weight gain is not ideal, then treatment may be changed at the clinic appointment. This may be starting antibiotics straightaway, a change to how they are doing their chest physiotherapy, or a change to their diet. Sometimes if changes are made we may ask children to come back for a review before their next routine appointment to check that they are getting better.