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British Lung Foundation
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COPD & bronchiectasis at 84 years old

Have posted before about my elderly dad who did smoke but also worked with paint for all his working life and never wore a mask. He's had 11 days at home since end November and we are giving up hope. He's had a few episodes of racing heartbeat and lost a lot of weight. IV antiobiotics work but infection returns within days. They say he isn't end stage and not ready for oxygen at home. I dread to think how much worse this condition can get. Any suggestions welcome.

6 Replies

I cannot really offer any suggestions other than to maybe dig deep and stand up to medical people who do not always know what is the best way forward. Does your dad see a specialist nurse or doctor? If not, maybe he should. Poor man should not have to go through this. I do wish you well and your dad too and hope things improve very soon for him. xx

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Hi does your dad have a nebuliser?


He's on salbutamol and ipratropium but we were only told to use them when he's breathless. He's had Tazocin twice and mereprenem twice. Now on his fifth IV since November. Surely this is not normal???


Many people who have COPD have a daily long-acting inhaler as well as the short-term ones your dad is taking. Perhaps ask his respiratory consultant (if he does not have one he should have) about Spiriva or something similar. It sounds as though he has a nasty infection but, once this is dealt with, there should be improvement. The periodic racing heartbeat is often caused by lack of oxygen in someone who has COPD. Has he been assessed for oxygen? Is anyone checking his oxygen saturation levels? I would recommend you ring the BLF helpline for further suggestions.


So sorry Lots your Dad is struggling so much. You don't mention if he makes a lot of mucus. With bronchiectasis it is really important to try and clear the lungs as much as possible as if the gunk remains in the lungs it is an ideal 'hotel' for the bugs. You can get a flutter on prescription from your GP which hopefully your Dad will be able to manage.

Agree with Toci contact BLF click on red ballloon top right.

Love and hugs to you and your Dad.



So hope your dad's doctor can help get his symptoms under better control. I think if the infections are returning within days of finishing the course of AB, it suggests the infection is still active, your Dad should be going straight back to see the doc or having the doc visit him at home. A sputum sample analysis if not already done will help to determine which AB is going to help clear this, but its down to the doctor to help keep on top of this with your Dad's cooperation. Keep communicating and returning to see the doc if things are not settling down.

If your Dad is mostly housebound there should be contact available to you with the Community Matron who will visit your Dad at home. If your Dad is not having home visits by the ~CM or a respiratory nurse, contact the GP and ask for this.

Do hope you can get some better care for your Dad put into place.

On Monday I would suggest contacting the BLF helpline for further advice on this situation (click red balloon top right) Helpline is manned 10am to 5pm normal working week days.

Hope your Dad is soon feeling much better.

Best wishes BC


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