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Back to work after hospital admission


I've had asthma for around 18 years; The worst it ever got was a trip to A&e for a neb - but last tues I was admitted for 4 days because of an infective asthma exacerbation. I'm concerned because I think my employer expected me back tomorrow (I was discharged Friday) and I don't feel ready. Can you advise on your experiences of back to work and also what you imagine is a reasonable amount of time off?

2 Replies

Hey, post exacerbation and admission, the minimum amount of time my team let me have off is a week, sometimes upto 2. I find that if I go back too soon after discharge I just end up back in hospital.

I'd advise calling in sick tomorrow and going to see your gp. You're supposed to have a follow up with gp post exacerbation anyway, to check things are still heading in the right direction.

I'd say if you're doubting it, you probably aren't ready?


I'm with Laurs. I have gone back to work right after an admission because I was worried about taking more time off (it was my first week in my current job and I didn't think missing 2 days would be the best impression!) but probably I shouldn't have and it wasn't a big one, one night.

I had a similar one more recently and the asthma nurse wanted me to take the rest of the week off (was in Mon night and discharged Tues) - I said no way, she said see how you are on Fri, I went back Thurs, poss too soon as hadn't caught up on sleep but was ok.

When I had a bigger one in Nov it was 3 nights, out on the Tues and I was told the rest of the week off, no negotiation, to see GP and to reconsider on the Monday whether I felt well enough. I interpreted that as 'go back on Monday' but I really wasn't ready; I had a bad night on the Sun night due to asthma and didn't even do good work. I wasn't really ready for it till about the Wed and I think my GP was pretty doubtful as I saw her on the Thurs after admission and she asked about signing me off for the next week as well; she didn't think I was very well then and I nearly ended up back in - if I'd seen her on the Mon she'd probably not have wanted me to go back.

I would definitely say after a flare like that and an infection and 4 nights in (where I bet you got very little sleep) you should have a bit more time off otherwise you'll just get ill again and probably need more time off. And also, I've come to realise, your work quality will not be good! I've looked at work I've done while not feeling well and it's not very good - surprising how even a desk-based job can be really tiring and difficult when you don't feel good; the dr who was so firm about taking the rest of the week off just looked at me when I suggested working from home.

If your job is more active than desk-based then I would definitely be careful about going back. And I""d agree with Laurs about seeing your GP> How are your employers generally about this sort of thing? Can you ring and explain tomorrow? I am lucky that mine are lovely though I still worry about time off, but they have said I should get better first; I do appreciate not all employers are like this though!


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