British Lung Foundation

What a to do

Well I was just sat there watching tellyl when it was just like my lungs shut down. I could not breathe in any air at all - thought that was it! panic! Drag drag on the bricanyl, cough cough to try to get some breath in - remembered the purse lips and tried that. I must have been like that for 20 mins and my partner was going spare. Eventually after about an hour breathing got back to normal,. but I was thinking there was no way I could have called an ambulance as I could not even say a word. not even help!! Ok I can grin a bit about it now but I was so scared. It is all very well for the GP to say call an ambulance or go to the surgery during open hours for the nebuliser but I would far rather have had one on hand. What do you all do in these circumstances,

11 Replies

What an awful experience for you Bealings. It's very frightening isn't it? My attacks are not anywhere near as bad as yours and are mainly asthma I think. I end up gasping for breath and trying not to panic even though it can be a minute before any air gets in. As soon as a tiny bit does I hammer my blue ventolin inhaler until I can breathe a bit better. I then have to rest for a while before it returns to normal.

Maybe your doctor will give you a nebuliser to use at home? Hope you are feeling better now.

Bev x


Sorry to hear that Bealings, it must be awful having the lungs shut down like that and very scary. I have a friend in the US who has her lungs lock up like that, she does have a nebuliser to use at home but its so difficult for her.

I have often thought myself what I would do and have pondered making a recording just to play down the phone in emergency situations. Hopefully in that situation would be able to dial the emergency number. Record something along the lines, name, age date of birth, hospital number, doctor name and surgery, consultant name, my name, health conditions, and meds prescribed with dosage, address, I am unable to talk physically please send ambulance to address....

Not done the recording yet but thinking maybe I should and just keep it by the phone.

Fortunately so far lungs have not locked up on me like that.

I think if your lungs do that too often you should have a nebulizer at home or maybe consider getting hooked up to the emergency service with a pull cord system.

Take good care Bealings and check in with your doc after this episode.

BC x


Sorry to hear that Bealings and how scared you and your partner must have been. Has that ever happened before? Let us know how you got on with your GP. Take good care of yourself xx


Just another thought, if you need to ring 999 and can't speak they will still be able to trace the call if you are on your landline and they can speak to you(I wouldn't try 111 just 999)


Thanks all of you. I am a bit wheezy today but otherwise OK. that button thing is a good idea. Knitter I am on vonage and not sure if it is traceable like that (I will have to find out). we havent had any thunder storms here but I suppose it could be something to do with the weather. hypercat - yes same as me - GP wont let me have a nebuliser at home. BlakeyC - hadnt thought of a recording but a good idea


I have a homecall system that was installed via social services after a few emergency admissions to hospital. All I would have to do would be to press the button on the unit, or you can have a bracelet band or neck pendant with buttons, on. So long as you are in the range of hearing (which is pretty wide) they can hear you very well and you can hear them very well - they would ask you questions so you would just have to say yes or no. i.e. do you need an ambulance. I also have a key safe outside (not 100% confident about that!) but if someone has the code, they will be able to get in to help me. You need to speak to your gp or consultant about your probs, it is the most scary thing in the world when this happens. I was eventually prescribed lorazepam, 0.5mg under tongue asap in an emergency, and your diaphragm starts to relax very quickly, can still take quite a while to get back to normal but far, far less frightening. Your inhalers etc will be useless during one of these attacks as you can't

breath enough in to have any effect. Good luck! Libby

PS In views of recent new guidlines, my comments above are entirely from my own first hand experience of the situation you describe!


Bealings, I once had a similar experience when my oxygen SATS dropped alarmingly and did not come back up when I rested. After a couple of hours I rang NHS Direct. I was gasping for breath and feeling quite faint and was asked so many questions, then asked them all over again! I gasped out I had already answered those (1 word at a time, which is all I could manage) and the woman apologised saying she could not move onto the next screen until I answered them all again. It was terrifying. I'm glad you were okay. I will be looking at some of the suggestions above myself.


Very scary for you and your partner Bealings. Pete has attacks like that sometimes and it scares me very much but he does have a nebuliser at home which is maybe what you should have. I encourage him to use the pursed lips technique but when you can't breath you just seem to panic. It is good to have someone on hand to try and calm things down but I do so feel for you. Hope things have improved now. Take care xxxxxxxxxxx


I dont believe that my problems are half as bad as described above. Husband and I went out for lunch. On return, I got out of the car, and had a panic attack. My breathing got asthmatic. i couldn't move my legs and it is only a short path. Husband had gone around the garages. Somehow, and it escapes my memory, I made it to my mobility buggy and helped myself in. Think I was hyperventilating. I am wondering if the PR class could advise. Certainly the GP when I see him.


That would have been scary Annie,yes I am sure the pr course,will give you help there,do you start soon?

How is Brian coping? Do hope all going well as can be,

Love Wendells xxx


Sorry Bealings,I was answering to Annie,but it is actually your post!Will give myself a smack!

That must be awful for you,& very scary.

As Libby said the home call system is excellent,makes you feel safe,I don't know what if any charge is made in the uk,but maybe worth looking into,for peace of mind.

Good luck with it all,

Love Wendells xxx


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