Cystic Fibrosis Fact Sheet

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder that affects the lungs and digestive system. More than 30,000 kids, teens, and young adults in the United States have CF.

People with CF carrie a  defective gene that produces unusually thick mucus. This mucus is sticky and thick, building up in the lungs and pancreas. It is very difficult to remove and can become infected frequently and easily.

Mucus in the lungs normally functions as a germ collector to help prevent infections. People with CF have so much mucus that it builds and becomes and incubator for germs which in turn, creates more infections.

Its name derives from the fibrous scar tissue that develops in the pancreas, one of the principal organs affected by the disease.

Causes: Hereditary



People with CF can have a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Very salty-tasting skin
  • Persistent coughing, at times with phlegm
  • Frequent lung infections
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Poor growth and slow weight gain, in spite of a good appetite
  • Frequent greasy, bulky stools or difficulty in bowel movement
  • Fatigue


* Diet high in Calcium and Protein

* Pulmonary therapy - Chest Physiotherapy - Breathing Exercises - Nebulizers

* Medications - Antibiotics - Supplemental Vitamins - Pancreatic Enzymes

Review the students IEP

Allow the student frequent breaks to the bathroom

Try avert attention to the students obvious digestive noises

Provide or encourage tissues to cough into if necessary

Encourage frequent hand-washing

Be aware of fatigue in class

The need to visit the school nurse at certain times for medication and nutrition needs

Facts and Numbers about Cystic Fibrosis

In the United States:

  • About 1,000 new cases of CF are diagnosed each year.
  • More than 75 percent of people with CF are
    diagnosed by age 2.
  • Nearly half of the CF population is age 18 or older.

Community Outreach...

Cystic Fybrosis Foundation

Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Chapter

6931 Arlington Road Suite B                                                                                    Bethesda, MD 20814                                                                                                          p: (301) 657-8444                                                                                                                 Email:                                                                                        Contact: Denise Brownlee

Johns Hopkins  Cystic Fibrosis Center Ph: 443-997-KIDS (5437)

Cystic Fibrosis CenterContact number | 202-476-2128


Cystic Fibrosis Foundation - Teacher's Guide to CF. (2015, January 4). Retrieved March 28, 2015, from

Cystic Fibrosis Resources. (2014, December 1). Retrieved March 27, 2015, from

Special Needs Fact Sheet - Cystic Fibrosis. What teachers should know. (2014, May 1), Retrieved March 28, 2014 from

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