Sue19918

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Hi, has anyone else's surgery started an appointment system where you have to be assessed over the phone before been given an appointment. Mine have just started using this system and I hate it.If I am asked if my problem is an emergency(when I can feel an exacerbation starting) I never know what to say.Another good reason to have an emergency supply of steroids and antibiotics.

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    I understand why they do this but, just like telling me that there is no point in taking antibiotics if I have a cold (exacerbation) we clearly fall into a different category, Tell them what they need to know for you to get the treatment you need ... even if this means a slight distortion of the truth!

     

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    • Posted

      I have had 2 chest infections in 2 months or it could have been the same infection hence a stronger antibiotic was given. I am worried about asking for emergency antibiotics if the Dr will give it to me.
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    • Posted

      I had an infection in November, a five day course didn't touch it so, driving back from London, I rang the Dr's to see if I could get an appointment. They took my number and ten minutes later the Dr rang me back. An hour later I was in the surgery being prescribed different and stronger drugs for the next ten days!

      They understand that the level of service they gave me is unusual and, to get us started as quickly as possible, the best option is emergency meds. They will happily prescribe because it helps you and helps manage their time.

      ​It really is in your best interests to have them. Please dont be put off or delay because the only person who will suffer is you - and that can't be right!

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    • Posted

      I'm puzzled by your comment abouty antibiotics and colds:  surely it's been known for decades that antibiotics have no effect whatsoever on the common cold?   I don't understand why having COPD would make any difference?
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    • Posted

      As I understand it; most initial symptoms of both colds and influenza are similar/the same. The cold virus is not respond to antibiotics whereas an influenza infection will. (The steriods provided with emergency meds help reduce inflammation).

      Waiting to see a Dr for diagnosis is not too much of an issue if the diagnosis turns out to be a commmon cold however, if the diagnosis is influenza and may have potentially been left untreated for a number of days then the risk of developing pnuemonia is sigificantly higher and, even if this doesn't happen, there is likely to be additional damage done to the tissue of the (already damaged) lungs.

      Taking antibiotics and then finding out that the diagnosis was a common cold simply wasted the tablets but, the view seems to be, in my experience, among the professionals that it's better to assume the worst and hope for the best.

      COPD sufferers only differ in as much as GP's accept that because of the poor condition of our lungs and accepting that the antibiotics won't harm us (even if it is only a common cold) supplying these meds reduces the risk of us needing additional (more costly) interventions.

      Just to be clear - I'm no medic of any sort - just a COPD sufferer who likes to question everything.

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    • Posted

      It's been known for years that a layperson can tell between a cold and a flu virus because flu symptoms include aches and pains, whereas colds do not.   I disagree that antibiotics can't harm us:  where do you think all these antibiotic resistant diseases came from if it wasn't over prescription of antibiotics?    They also have negative (side) effects I'd rather avoid whenever possible.

      It's also my understanding that antibiotics make no difference to flu itself, only to actual or potential complications of flu, particularly pneumonia, which is of course definitely dangerous for COPD patients.

      I must admit my experience is fairly limited as I have moderate COPD diagnosed 3 1/2 years ago and stable at 70% lung function:  I've had pneumonia twice and both bouts cleared up with two week courses of antibiotics, so I guess I've been lucky so far regarding exaberations.

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  • Posted

    It sounds like an attempt to prioritise patients for their appointment times, which isn't necessarily a bad thing if it means people with more serious conditions are seen earlier, as is done in hospital A & E .

    If you answer yes to the emergency question are you seen sooner or are you told to go to A & E at the hosptial?

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    • Posted

      Hi, rang for appointment this am and surgey has gone back to the old system no more being assessed over the phone. Did have to wait for nearly an hour though but then it's Monday and after holidays. I asked about having emergency meds pack handy. Dr told me these are for more serious cases than mine which I took to mean people with severe copd.At the moment I am moderate. Due to my chest infection not clearing after 2 courses of antibiotics I now have to do a sputum sample,which I haven't done before. Dr also explained that a person with copd will take twice as long to get over a chest infection compared to people without. Hope this will be of help to some using this site
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    • Posted

      Hi Sue19918, My COPD is also moderate, failure to treat exacerbations quickly will, according to information received duiring pulmonary rehab, allow the condition to decline more quickly than necessary!

      ​Whilst many, many GP's are very good there are some occasions when I have to question the logic of a few GP's.

      ​If the emergency meds were vastly expensive then there might be a reason for delaying the supply ... but they are not expensive in the grand scheme of things.

      ​I'm sorry, if I continue I will start to rant so I will shut up - only saying, I'd be looking for a second opinion.

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    • Posted

      Dear y_not, Yes I was also told by pulmologist before that the sooner u got on the medication the better and this would catch the infection before it got worse. This time I was prescribed trimethone which didn't work then couldn't get an appointment for nearly a week. I'm sure if I had the medication to hand in the first place I would of been well and not needed further appointments.
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