Pneumonia and Asthma

I have just come out of hospital after a seven week stint, and in a nutshell: (deep-ish breath) i had bacterial pneumonia in both lungs, as well as pleurisy and infection from an incrdibly rare bacteria, fusobacterium necrophorum. I also suffered respiratory failure and was on a ventilator for 11 days in intensive care. I am now much better, although the bottom halves of both my lungs are still collapsed, and i also have empyema's - abcesses in the pleural cavities of both lungs.

I have been asthmatic for a few years now, and am currently taking Seretide 125 2 puffs 2x daily as well as Ventolin as and when. I have previously had to take Prednisolone tablets as well as A & E trips for nebs etc etc.

Does anyone know if and/or how any of my recent problems will affect my asthma, either short or long term? My peak flow has dropped from a usual 420 to 250-300. I am 18 years old and 5'5"". Also, anyone heard of ""my bug""?!

Any info or advice appreciated!

Emz x

3 Replies

  • I'm sorry, I don't have anything useful to add, but I just wanted to say: 'Poor you!'

    I've had a quick google search and it looks as though your bug is pretty rare, especially if it goes on to abscess formation (this website suggests one per million!

    From a very quick scan over the internet, it looks like it is a bug that is not uncommon in the throat, mouth, ears etc, and responsible for these infections. I haven't found anything about it causing pneumonia, but I haven't really looked that carefully.

    I hope you soon start to feel better.


  • well emz you must be tough to have come through that experence

    I had pneumonia twice as an asthmatic teenager (30 yrs ago) but your bug sounds particularly aggressive, though I've never heard of it. My asthma was worse for a while but then improved again and was well controlled.

    However it later transpired my lungs, tho it didn't show up for 20 years, had been slightly damaged by the pneumonia, and eventually I developed mild bronchiectasis. Dear Emz, I don't say this to alarm you, and wish to stress to you that the powerful antibiotics and antiinflammatories etc which are available now to treat pneumonia were not around then. But i think you do need to be alert to the possibility of lung damage. Forewarned is forearmed. However, the lungs have incredible regenerative powers. Make sure you have complete confidence in your consultant and ask him about having a ct scan to detect small areas of damage which may not show up on an x-ray. If your recovery is very carefully managed, you will hopefully come through with no permanent damage or scarring. That is the crucial thing. Even if you DID have a small amount of lung damage, it can be minimised provided you know about it and stay on top of it. I have always led a full life and have a good career etc so don't panic, but if you're not entirely happy with your care, get referred to a specialist chest hosp eg RBH

    good luck

  • Hi guys

    Firstly, thanks for your words of encouragement: I have since done plenty of research about what I went through, and apparantly there was a one in a million chance of me catching that bug in the first place! I have also learned that (on top of everything else!) that I suffered from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome - can anyone tell me anything about this?

    Polly, I have already had a ct scan but am likely to have to have another one, so that it can be decided whether or not the fluid left in my lungs is operable, drain-able, or best left to its own devices. And trust me, you haven't worried me in the slightest - I am lucky to be alive (I only had a 5% chance at one point), and the only noticable side effect I've noticed so far is that I have gone deaf in my left ear from the huge amount of antibiotics I have had pumped into me whilst I was undergoing ECMO treatment in Leicester (I was transported by RAF helicopter from north devon for the pleasure!)

    I would just be most grateful to anyone out there who has experience of asthma and pneumonia, or knows anything of fusobacterium necrophorum, ECMO treatment, ARDS, or anything else I have mentioned in my endless waffle...

    Thanks, Emz x

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