Chest Infections??

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I've had COPD for about 2 years now and as far as I can discern, I've only had one chest infection.........unless I'm misinformed.  What are some of the symptoms that you, that have had many chest infections, have had?

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  • Posted

    Hi Sandy,

    This may sound a little "odd" but you KNOW when you have an infection. Symptons vary, but with me I have flu like symptons, high temperature, difficulty breathing, wheezing, extra sputum production which is usually colored (*Green/yellow....ugh), loss of appetite, hacking cough and you feel like s**t!.

    I was diganosed with COPD four years ago, and was infection free for several years.  However I got a bad infection in January and have had re-occuring attacks ever since.  The last one two weeks ago resulted in a 999 call and hospitalisation for five days, quite scary. (to put this context, my excessive coughing caused spasams which resulted in panic attack like symptons and I couldn't breathe properly.  I have since attended Pulmonory Rehab classes which certainly help to contol this very frightening effect)

    I have at last persuaded my NHS Doctor to let me have an emergency supply of anti-biotics, because swift action can most certainly help.  Again in my case, penicillin proved ineffective but streoids were "magic".

    If you have a clinic nurse at your GP's practice, discuss your concerns with them and develop an "action plan" a: to try and avoid an infection and b: what to do if it happens.

    I cannot stress enough, have an emergency supply of appropriate medication to take should you get an infection............it's the single most action you can take to help.

    Good luck.

    Michael

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  • Posted

    Basically I agree with lots of what's been said, pulmary rehab is the way to go ,ask anyone on here who's attended a course ,

    symptons of chest infection ,

    cough gets worse 

    breathless 

    lack of appetite ,

    exhaustion 

    increased sputum / and or colour change from clear to yellow/ green / brownish ,

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  • Posted

    Hi you know when you have a chest infection coz you cough up yellow or green gunk.   Not always but usually.  It is possible to have exacerbations ie a worsening of your  symptoms due an infection.

    I agree with the with advice of having a 'rescue pack'  for emergencies as you need to treat any infection straight away otherwise you can further damage your lungs.    x

     

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  • Posted

    Thank you ALL for the quick feedback.  I WILL be aware, if any of the symptoms "raise their ugly head".  My GP is extremely pro-active and has an excellent staff on hand so that if I were to call them any time day or night and indicate I may be having a flare-up, they would prescribe to a 24 hour pharmacy immediately.  They work very closely with my Pulmonary facility, also.  Thanks again!!

    (and no Michaelfhope, none of that sounds odd).  I WILL check with my GP to see if I can have emergency meds on hand.  The one and only flare-up I had, they prescribed azythromyacin and prednizone and that took care of it.  I feel VERY fortunate that I've only had to use my "rescue inhaler" one time in the past 2 years (albuteroll). I'm very grateful for all of the informtion that I receive on this forum.

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  • Posted

    Chest tightness and pain which I thought was another heart attack, preceded by a few days of extreme tiredness & extremely mild cold symptoms  - turned out I had pneumonia.   

    When I got similar symptoms I got myself to the GP pronto for antibiotics and I did have pneumonia again ..... fortunately he didn't make me go to hospital, but monitored me and I ended up with a second script, which cleared it up.

    If you go to a pulmonary rehab group you'll learn heaps more about what to watch out for.   People in the later stages often have anbitbiotics on hand to start as soon as symptoms appear.

    It seems to be universal that as the disease progresses we get pneumonia more and more often, more and more hospitalisations until ......... well, you can guess the rest!

    I do my very best to stay away from anyone with a cold or the flu and have also become much more diligent about hand hygiene.

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    • Posted

      I have only very high moderate copd but my copd nurse told me I should have a rescue pack to hand.   I think they should be given to everyone a soon as they get a diagnosis as being able to take them immediately means infections can be controlled quicker so there is less chance of further lung damage thus making the disease more severe. 

       

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    • Posted

      What do you  mean by "very high moderate"?  What percentage of lung function is that?

      By "rescue pack" do you mean antibiotics?   

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    • Posted

      The point that I am trying to make is that although you can be classed in a stage where you are in that is very important.  Are you are not familiar with the stages?  Over 80% is considered mild copd  in the UK,  between 50-80% is considered moderate.  Hence I am high moderate with a lung function of 78%.   I often say I am mild/moderate to indicate I am really on the border between the 2 stages.  

      By 'rescue pack'  I mean exactly that.  It is the meds you would need to take for a chest infection or other exacerbation.   What is in it depends a lot on how severe you are.  My rescue pack consists of ab's and mild steroids which usually clears my infection.   If you need more or different meds for yours they should be in the rescue pack.

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    • Posted

      Of course I'm familiar with the stages, I'm also familiar with the fact that the percentages are interpreted differently by health practitioners:  at 70% I've been told I have mild COPD, stage 1, but others interpret that percentage as moderate stage 2.

      I just don't see the point of such abstract terms:  surely the actual lung function and the symptoms are what's relevant?

      I'm seeing my gp today about something else and I'll sound him out about a rescue pack, but he's not far away and athough busy fairly accessible for urgent appointments except at weekends.   I'd definitely prefer to have antibiotics I could take for a day or two until I could see  him on a Monday rather than go to the local public hospital:  it's horrible and unhealthy 

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    • Posted

      Well I guess it depends where you live.   In the UK I was diagnosed with mild copd at 73%,  then they changed the parameters a few years ago saying that over 80% but less than 100% was mild.   So I became moderate instead.  

      I don't understand what you mean by 'abstract terms'.  I was discussing it with the poster the only way I know how and I cannot change me or the way I reply.    If the poster has a problem with it I am sure s/he will reply accordingly.  I am not an expert at medical terminalogy and I am sure none of us are here. 

       

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    • Posted

      You've proved my point, that the "Stage" terminology is abstract, whereas percentages of lung function is a concrete fact we can work with.
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    • Posted

      Many people use stages when referring to copd and that is our perogative whether you think it is 'abstract' or not.  Please do not continue to criticise my replies or my wording.   This is a site to help and support others,  not to play with semantics! 

       

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    • Posted

      I wasn't being critical, merely aiming for clarification which in my opinion isn't helped by the use of stage terminology.  You are just as entilted to believe that it does.

      Feel free to disagree iwth me though, that's your right and I support it. However I don't think it's your right to decide what this forum is for and in my opinion clarification of terms isn't playing with semantics.  

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    • Posted

      Well it apparently isn't my right to use 'stage terminology'  according to your remarks

      'I just don't see the point of such abstract terms:  surely the actual lung function and the symptoms are what's relevant?I just don't see the point of such abstract terms:  surely the actual lung function and the symptoms are what's relevant?'

       I am not deciding what this forum is for or making an arbiturary statement, it is for support and help for those of us suffering from lung disease.   You are being pedantic again.

      I will say whatever I think in my replies and if you are not happy with any of it then you have the option to report,  as we all do.   If you are not going to report then please stop this endless nit picking of the language or terminiology i use.  

      I will from now not reply to any of your comments,  please do me the courtesy of the same.    

       

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    • Posted

      Settle down hypercat!   You have the right to use whatever terminology you want and I have the right to say that I think that terminology isn't helpful.

      Understand now?  It's not rocket science.    Why are you raising the reporting issue?  It never occurred to me to report anyone for a minor disagreement about terminology.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi, let me share.

      to my knowledge, Severity of COPD is difficult to assess and current practice ( according to experts and guidelines ) includes overall assessment including body weight(BMI), exercise capacity, lung function and SOB itself.

      May be other methods, but no single factor is complete.

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