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Chest infection and coughing where I couldn’t regulate my breathing and felt as though I was ‘drowning’ in my throat

Last night I had an awful experience that I found quite scary. I had been wheezing since Monday and managed to see GP on Friday. He confirmed I had a chest infection and prescribed antibiotics and Prednisolone that had before in February when I had my first ever chest infection.

I had developed a cough that was relentless so I used the doses of Fosfair I’d been told by my GP and used my ventolin lots of times.

As I have a hiatus hernia, I had to hold my rib cage every time when I coughed or sneezed as the pain was severe.

When I went to bed I started coughing and had to get up out of bed and couldn’t breath properly. It was like there was a clear mucous stuck in my windpipe, which is why I described this experience like ‘drowning’.

My respiratory rate went crazy and eventually when paramedics arrived - Three and a half hours after my call - my rate was 24 and they told me normal REPS are 12-20.

They gave me a nebuliser (first time I’ve had one) and it was amazing and together with oxygen brought my REPs down to 12-14.

I only dialled 111 which is why I had to wait so long.

Would if have been right to dial 999?

5 Replies

in your case I think yes is the answer. In our asthma plans it says if we can't resolve our symptoms after 10 puffs of ventolin or feel any worse then 999 is the number to ring. Have you got an asthma plan if not I recommend the one on asthma uk website you can down load and print off. Gold standard of asthma plans


Yes I do have an asthma plan and because I’d used the maximum dose of Fostair (2 puffs x 4 times a day for chest infection) plus I’d used the Ventolin loads throughout the day, in hindsite, I can see that a 999 call would have been a better option.

I’d forgotten about the 10 emergency puffs of my blue inhaler, and being on my own, wasn’t thinking straight.

Thanks for your thoughts 👍

1 like

I just switched to fostair second day using it 2puffs twice a day from seretide my uusual one. Is yours the dry powder one. It looks like from your comments that this one can be increase or used more often. My seretide couldn't so I had no where to go when I needed more hence why I was given flxoide as well 250.

I quite understand why your you couldn't think straight when you were in that suitation all you are concentrating is breathing. Never be afraid to call 999. I had to do this on my first ever asthma attack and it felt very surreal.

I hope and praying you are getting better now.

1 like

Was in excruciating pain last night and went into hospital to be diagnosed with pleurisy - 2 ambulances on consecutive nights.

Home today with strong painkillers and continue with the antibiotics I started 2 days ago.

The paramedic 2 nights ago, when I couldn’t regulate my breathing despite using the maximum dose of Fostair my GP recommended said that maybe I had built up a resistance to the Fostair.

Is this a possibility?

I have an asthma review on Thursday next week.


I am sorry to hear that you had a really rough time last night. I will continue to pray for you. I just looked up Pleurisy and that explain why you were so bad.

I don't know any thing about Fostair as I just started using it. Maybe some one else can help you or try ringing the asthma uk helpline tomorrow.


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