Cause of Death
Most patients with this condition eventually die as a result of respiratory failure. Other patients develop infections that are secondary to right-heart failure or steroid therapy and will not survive these infections.
Complications associated with this condition can also influence a patient's pulmonary fibrosis prognosis. Such complications may include:
Hypoxemia: Also referred to as low-blood oxygen levels, this complication may result due to this condition decreasing how much oxygen a patient can take in, therefore, the amount of oxygen in their bloodstream is reduced. This can interfere with basic body functions and be life-threatening when blood-oxygen levels are severely low.
Pulmonary hypertension: This complication is characterized by high blood pressure within the lungs. It is serious, progressively gets worse and can eventually become fatal.
Respiratory failure: Respiratory failure is often the last step in chronic lung diseases. When a patient's blood-oxygen levels become dangerously low, it occurs. When blood-oxygen levels are low, it can result in unconsciousness and heart arrhythmias.
Right-side heart failure: This occurs when the right ventricle in the heart has to work much harder in order to pump blood through pulmonary arteries that are blocked.