Bronchiectasis/COPD: Just a quick... - Lung Conditions C...

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PAP48 profile image
19 Replies

Just a quick question, in our members' view and knowledge is Bronchiectasis classed as COPD? My consultant and various other medics have all stated I do not have COPD and all letters to my surgery state Bronchiectasis and Asthma, in fact one consultant's letter actually states 'no evidence of COPD'). However, on my medical records it shows tests being carried out for COPD. I managed to see our practice manager today who insists Bronchiectasis is under the same 'banner' as COPD! The reason I am querying this is travel insurance, who will cover me for Bronchiectasis and Asthma (as well as Afib) but not COPD. Totally confused and frustrated. Thanks in advance for any input.

19 Replies

With the caveat that I’m not medically qualified. No, bronchiectasis is categorically not copd. There is an overlap of tests for all respiratory conditions, and people that turn out to have bronchiectasis are often initially incorrectly diagnosed with (and sometimes treated for) copd, but it’s not one of the conditions that falls under the copd banner. Going off the argument you were given, asthma would need to be under the same banner, too, and it’s not.

Regarding the travel insurance, if you have current letters from respiratory specialists stating you have ncfb and not copd, then in the event of needing to claim, that should trump the GP’s records and opinion. They’re jacks of all trades at the end of the day. I’m not going to take a general builder’s opinion on a carpentry task when the master cabinet maker is saying something different entirely.

PAP48 profile image
PAP48 in reply to

Thank you Charlie_G - my sentiments entirely! I shall go on holiday armed with as much paperwork as my luggage allowance will allow!

Littlepom profile image
Littlepom in reply to

oh well said Charlie, the ignorance still proliferating makes me furious

eleanordigby profile image

Ignore the practice manager. What do they know?! Bronchiectasis is definitely not classed as COPD. Some people with COPD can develop bronchiectasis, but the two conditions are completely different.

My understanding is that in bronchiectasis the alveoli, tiny sacs in the lungs, widen and fill with mucus, whereas in COPD the alveoli are narrowed. Of course you can have asthma at the same time as either ☹️

PAP48 profile image
PAP48 in reply to eleanordigby

Thank you eleanordigby, I agree, and so do all the consultants and respiratory team that look after me!

eleanordigby profile image
eleanordigby in reply to PAP48

Frankly, I’m surprised the practice manager even feels qualified to offer an opinion in the matter!

PAP48 profile image
PAP48 in reply to eleanordigby

She seemed to think she was more qualified than the consultants!

Patk1 profile image

join the queue.i even have consultations with gp recorded as coad/copd.asthma review nurse said cpl wks ago " oh! Yr copd/ asthma overlap.u will need a review with the copd nurse".i politely pointed out my true diagnoses & that its all there,in my notes 🙈🙉🙊

Littlepom profile image

bronchiectasis definitely does not come under the banner of copd. Your practice manager needs more training. In fact, they are not medically trained and should not be giving opinions. When somebody presents with respiratory problems GPs and general respiratory consultants usually look for copd because they know more about it and it is far more common.than bronch. Some medics used to confuse bronch with copd but that outmoded idea died out several years ago.

Asthma and bronch as a combination is quite usual. As for travel ins. I have never had a problem because of my bronch, AF and cardiomyopathy. Carefully answer the questions. I am using Avanti for my cruise this time and I didn't even have to phone them. Did it online. Copd is more difficult to get covered. As you don't have copd and have medical notes to prove it you shouldn't have a problem.

PAP48 profile image
PAP48 in reply to Littlepom

Fingers crossed Littlepom - having had experience of claiming whilst I was taken ill with pneumonia in Vietnam, I'm a bit belt and braces as they try to get out of paying if they can!

Littlepom profile image
Littlepom in reply to PAP48


peege profile image

Very knowledgeable replies, I hope they put your mind at rest.

copd is an umbrella term covering emphysema and chronic bronchitis only.

the practice manager has no idea what bronchiectasis is and probably confused it with bronchitis

PAP48 profile image
PAP48 in reply to peege

I think you're absolutely right peege although she did think she did!

teddyd profile image

When I got my diagnosis with bronchietasis. He made it clear this was not Copd. Over the years I have had to remind Gps nurses etc that Bronchietasis is an entirely different illness. Have a good trip.

B0xermad profile image

hI I have just bought travel insurance and copd asthma and bronchietasis all come under upper respiratory conditions even though bronchietasis is listed on its own

PAP48 profile image
PAP48 in reply to B0xermad

Thank you for your reply B0xermad - may I ask who you insured with? I can get insurance with Bronchiectasis but as soon as COPD rears its ugly head they run a mile!

B0xermad profile image
B0xermad in reply to PAP48

Hi I used Allianz for medical side and hays travel rush insurance which forwarded me for the preexisting conditions, going on a cruise to Norway 7 days was 198.00 all in

inhaler1 profile image

I had this problem a few years ago, with hospital A&E staff putting COPD on my records when i was actually diagnosed with Bronchiectasis by MRI, as you say this makes a big difference to travel insurance.When challenged staff said they would remove but my Husband it be removed straight away before he left me at the hospital.

This was done reluctantly.

A lot of medical staff do not know the difference between these two diseases so lump everything together.

I even refuse to complete questionnaires at Hospital clinic as they always ask you to tell them about your COPD.!! I have asked for separate form but no luck so far.

Hope this helps.

Ivanovna profile image

An amazing forum and such very good advice. It has taken over 2 years to untangle the confusion between COPD and late onset asthma - but you have to persevere with the doc. Mine made a small judgement that proved to be incorrect! Now on the correct medication and absolutely fine. Hope you get your insurance settled. If you haven’t COPD you do not want it on your medical records - that was the advice I was given.

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