CHOOSING Your PH Doctor
Finding a PH specialist is an important step in dealing with a PH diagnosis. Below are several useful questions identified by PHA’s Scientific Leadership Council to assist you in identifying a PH specialist for your or your loved one’s care. These questions may help you assess the qualifications of a physician and get a better understanding of their experience and expertise in PH.
Questions to Ask Your PH Physician
- When did you begin caring for PH patients, and how many PH patients do you currently treat?
- How much of your practice is devoted to PH patients specifically?
- Do you have a specific nurse dedicated to assisting in the care of PH patients?
- Do you require all patients to undergo cardiac catheterization (including acute vasodilator testing when appropriate) prior to prescribing a therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension?
- What PH therapies do you prescribe and do you currently provide access to all PAH therapies including prostanoid therapy (inhaled as well as injectable) to your patients? (While you may ultimately be placed on a different therapy, a center’s familiarity with treating patients on the most advanced PH therapy is a good reflection of its level of PH expertise.)
- Do you currently provide access to clinical trials for your patients or conduct clinical trials on PH medications?
- Have you referred patients for lung or heart/lung transplant?
- Have you referred patients for pulmonary thromboendarterectomy?
- Does the hospital your patients are admitted to have specific nursing and pharmacy protocols and training for the care of patients hospitalized with PAH (especially for patients on IV medications)?
- Does the hospital your patients are admitted to have PAH medications in stock (especially prostanoids)?
- Is the Emergency Department that your patients are usually referred to familiar with PAH and all the different treatments used, including emergency management of injectable prostanoids?
- Which educational meetings/lectures regarding PH have you attended in the last two years?
- For pediatric patients: Do you currently treat other children who have PH?