Normal oxygen and clear chest - help!! - Asthma UK communi...

Asthma UK community forum
15,863 members20,578 posts

Normal oxygen and clear chest - help!!


Hi, it’s my third time posting on here and I’m a bit stuck with what to do.

I first want to say I don’t wheeze literally ever!! I think a doctor has only heard my chest ‘right’ once. My oxygen is normally okay during attacks but my hr easily hits 150bpm and my resps fluctuate between 40-70 (not good!!!)

I have a cold, and its only day two and it’s gone straight to my chest. I’m not in a crisis yet, but breathing is hard, having a blocked nose and a rough cough isn’t helping that either. My peak flow is normally around the 400/420 mark and its currently 230. I’m taking salbutamol every two hours ish but will see how tonight goes.

I don’t want to go to a&e as because my oxygen is normally good and my chest doesn’t sound bad they normally just dismiss me or give me one neb then stop. However I’m getting tired from struggling to breathe and can’t take deep breaths so my resps are quite high.

I’m on relvar once a day, ipatropium 4 times a day, and Theophylline tablets. My asthma is out of control and I’ve switched between sic different meds this year trying to fix it.

Any advice would be much appreciated - how long to weight for a&e, or even is it an issue or will it hopefully work itself out?

12 Replies

Hey, sorry to hear you’re struggling again!

Asthma UK tend to say you should be heading to A&E if any of the following apply:

-Your salbutamol inhaler isn’t helping

-Your salbutamol inhaler isn’t lasting 4 hours

-You can’t walk/talk normally due to your symptoms

-Your peak flow is 50% of your best or less

If your inhaler is only lasting 2 hours and your peak flow is still only really at about 55% of your best you probably should think about going to get checked out!

I know it’s never fun going to A&E even if you knew you would get seen really quickly and get all the treatment you need, let alone when you’ve had bad experiences but asthma isn’t something to risk it with!

Have you tried taking 10 puffs of your inhaler through a spacer and seeing if that helps settle things a bit more? And do you have any emergency steroids at home you could start taking?

If you really don’t want to tackle A&E you should definitely try to see your GP ASAP tomorrow.

Take care x

EmmaF91Community Ambassador in reply to Js706

I agree with Js706 here. From the sounds of it you need hospital. If you explain how long symptoms have been there, what you’ve ‘tried’ and the fact it’s not maintaining past 2 hrs then they should listen to you. It is a pain and frustrating I know but please seek help +/- start your emergency steroids if you have them!

Frazzle in reply to EmmaF91

I get what you are saying and should listen (and will eventually) just hate going and then getting a doctor that doesn’t understand and it just makes me worse and I end up back at square one and worse than before!

I don’t have emergency steroids, but it’s on my list to speak to my doctor about! x

Frazzle in reply to Js706

Tired 10 puffs, really hate a&e, and with school tomorrow will see how it goes for a few hours and then decide - I know it’s stubborn but ugh!! X

Js706 in reply to Frazzle

See how you go with the 10 puffs but if it doesn’t last you really should go tonight!

To be honest I’m not convinced you sound well enough to be heading into school tomorrow either way - you don’t want to push things and make yourself much worse (I know it’s annoying and I’ve been pretty terrible for it in the past but it’s better to spend a day or two off now than to push yourself, get really bad and have to miss a week+)

Let us know how you get on :)

Hi Frazzle. Sorry you are feeling so poorly. Why don't you try calling 111? They will ask all sorts of unrelated questions but they should give you an out of hours GP appointment which will mean you don't have to wait as long as in A&E? Hopefully the GP can give a nebuliser or some meds that will help? I hope you feel better soon

Frazzle in reply to sammy12345

111 love calling me an ambo as soon as I mention struggling to breathe but maybe I’ll give it a go - and explain I just want a doctor :)

sammy12345 in reply to Frazzle

Haha, yes, but you can argue with them over that. My daughter went into respiratory distress a shed load of times last winter and just needed steroids in the night and they usually wanted to send an ambulance. I argued I knew she was OK and we could make it to hospital under our own steam to be seen and it was a waste of a resource that we didn't need and someone else would have. They accepted that. I think their wording is "fighting desperately for every breath". Good luck!

Hi if I where you I’d call out of hrs don’t wait I understand but it a priority if a person has breathing difficulties .Oxygen and chest ok does not always mean there isn’t a problem.

Frazzle in reply to Darceydoo

Thankyou :)

Hi, Frazzle. Your situation is pretty much how I always present. It is very frustrating to try to explain it to a new doctor in the emergency room (A&E). I feel like I have to start from fresh and I feel very defensive. When I come in- I usually am not wheezing, coughing is my main symptom, my O2 is usually good, but like you my heart rate is often very high and my peak flow has usually dropped and I need nebs between every 2-4 hours. I’ve been hospitalized twice in less than two years and those have been my symptoms. The first one was a little more severe and I did have some wheezing. The second one I was not wheezing as much and I had In the other and I had to argue with the doctors a bunch. It was sooo frustrating. I’m sorry you are going through this, too. It sounds like you should go in. Is there someone you could take with you to help explain and advocate for you? My pulmonologist’s advice, by the way, if this happened again when I was admitted was to call for the pulmonologist on call. We’ll see, I’m hoping to not be in the hospital for awhile again.

Frazzle in reply to Shadowcat04

It is so frustrating isn’t it!! It’ll be my fourth admission in a month and a half, dread to think how many I’ve had this year but oh well, I’m still plodding on! Normally I’d just hold off but it’s the cold that’s making me a little more wary, I don’t want to go to the point where I’m so tired I get very bad very quick however I know right now I’m not going great.

You may also like...