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Need help urgently

Sunflower36 profile image

Hi. I have had asthma for years have been on montelukast and Seretide. Recently got a terrible cough which resulted into pneumonia. I was admitted and received iv treatment and many cough syrups and azithromycin and amoxilyn. And thankfully the cough went down. However, I have been having a lot of chest pain and it's really so intense and it usually radiates to the back( as if someone is stabbing me in the chest to the back) , my chest feels so tight and I can't fully take a deep breath in or out. I was prescribed brethyzy-L and a salbutamol inhaler which have helped a bit but now the chest tightness is back and I can barely do anything around! With asthma I didn't have this much chest pain so I'm wondering whether the pneumonia didn't clear completely or it's just asthma? I'm scheduled to go back to hospital on 26th but right now I'm completely not fine. I'm really so desperately in need of help because I'm told pneumonia is rather very dangerous and I wouldn't want it to get any further. What can I do? Anyone who has had pneumonia and asthma before to please help me.

18 Replies
Lysistrata profile image
LysistrataCommunity Ambassador

Hi, sounds like you need to get checked out asap rather than asking here. Please go and get medical help (NHS website if you're not sure where to go, but with the chest pain and shortness of breath plus maybe pneumonia, A&E might be the best option).

Agree with Lysistrata. You need medical help with this.

Purely based on the pain you are describing I would call 111 ASAP. They will likely direct you to A&E.

That much chest pain .. it’s a straight 999 call

As a recent new NHS emergency services user ... what is the difference between 111 and 999, and which would you call in which case -- like for example in Sunflower's case (a clear emergency)? I've only called 111, and they would send a sedan with an emergency person (which sometimes took 2 hrs.). The people who showed up usually did not have anything useful -- no nebulizers etc. They would take EKG and SPO2 , and that's about it in terms of what their expertise (of course, the usual advice on "anxiety").

This is from the West Midlands Ambulance Service but advice will be the same for all trusts:

wmas.nhs.uk/999-or-111/

Ambulance despatch (not just call handlers but properly trained professionals) will categorise calls which will dictate loosely how long someone had to wait (but then there are many other factors such as other call demand, weather, etc that have an impact). Even category 1 calls can receive a First Responder if there are no available ambulances. First Responders absolutely do have nebs though as they've had to treat me while then waiting for the proper ambulance to arrive.

Alright, makes sense now! My specialist mentioned that 111 could arrange a self-check in into a respiratory hospital, like Glenfield

I would be highly surprised if they would or could do that to be honest. Some 6-8 years ago, my GP could get me admitted straight to the emergency assessment unit (the ward one would go to after a&e) but since then when hospitals became so busy all the time (way before covid this is) they could do that but I'd still have to report to a&e due to capacity issues. Not long before covid was a thing, my consultant admitted from his clinic straight to the respiratory ward but that was lucky. Hospitals just don't have the respiratory capacity to take people directly. Also, without wishing to insult anyone who works for 111, I wouldn't have thought it was really in their expertise to decide over the phone whether someone's symptoms warranted direct admission to a specialist or not.

I know some specialist teams can do that, so if someone is unwell they contact their team and possibly direct admission might happen, but again it will depend on capacity.

My consultant indicated if one already is already a patient at asthma clinic at a hospital, it can happen. But I hear you -- they often think that a service is available, whereas it is only available on paper.

I still stand by what I said 😂 I honestly wouldn't want someone at 111 deciding who should and shouldn't get admitted directly to a specialist department.

Yep agree, most first responders are actually advanced paramedics and have the full meds an ambulance would have, wether they want to dish out the meds is another story...

I actually was conveyed to hospital in one as he didn't want to wait for a "proper ambulance.." wether that's allowed or not who knows lol

One visit my first responder (good point about being advanced as he was too) turned up after the ambulance - slightly bizarre but very useful as he'd been before and remembered my non-wheeze presentation so when the young paramedic did the "oh no wheeze..." thing, from across the room the responder guy intervened from across the room making sure he'd checked certain other things which made the young one think oh yes this isn't actually great. So definitely useful people!

Another responder actually stayed once to talk to my mum after the ambulance had taken me so he could learn more about my particular asthma which impressed me. They're pretty good where I am and know instantly what to do or what's not required but I am a bit weird 😉

That's amazing! I have definitely found first responders have the best knowledge, he instantly knew I was compensating and didn't want to wait. Obviously you will get the odd bad one as with anything, but in general they seem to get the more unusual like us 😂

Yes agree!

Birch_ profile image
Birch_ in reply to twinkly29

Whenever I ring 111 they just tell me to get my mum to drive me to a&e. I never feel like it’s bad enough to ring 999 but if they can send someone with a neb then that’s worth bearing in mind.

Got back to hospital! Xxx

Straight back for medical help. There is clearly something wrong and waiting will definitely not help.

I recently had what sounds like a similar pain which turned out to be chest wall inflammation caused by coughing. Naproxen is helping but you will need an ECG to rule out cardiac issues and a chest X-ray before they can diagnose properly. I hope you get everything sorted and feel better soon.

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