Best method to get a good sample

Dear Gang

This is slightly a gross question but none the less an important one, over the past month I have had a lung infection (through bronchiectasis) not my COPD despite being on azithromycin 3 times a week. I have had co-amoxiclav twice and still feel unwell and a little breathless and obiously I am concenred what damage this infection might be causing left without treatment. Today I ask my doctors to have my Sputum tested to see what bacteria is causing me the problem and prescirbe me with the correct medication, so for the question.

I can pinpoint my infection preciously to the bottom of my right lung, what is the best method to get the sputum up from this area ? I do not have a flutter device. Normally I would go for a run and try and cough my lungs up on my return, however I feel to0 unwell to do this. I am concerened that unless I get a good sample from where the infection is that it might not contain any bacteria from the infected area and continue to do damage to my lungs and I will be misdiagnosed

I live on my own (apart from my cat so can make as many stupid noises as I like) just want to get it right. Also when is the best time to do this night/morning? The lady in the doctors tells me thaey collect the samples at 9.00am so need to get it in before then.

Thanks for your time in advance

Justin X

16 Replies

  • One of the best ways I know of shifting the gunk is breathing in salt in some sort of mist. I have a neb so it's easy for me. I haven't tried it or checked anywhere but maybe warm/steamy salt water in a bowl with a towel over your head may work ?

  • I believe the best sample would be first thing in the morning....I wonder if light percussion over the infected lung would help or the huffing technique .

    I hope someone with a better knowledge of chest clearance can help...

  • I've found this. The 1st one seems to back my theory. :)

  • My physio showed my son a 'cupping' technique to help in bringing up gunk. I am sure there will be a YouTube video if you search.

  • Thanks Toci :)

  • `Please ignore what I said, My physio 'cupped' her hands before lightly tapping my ribs - nothing like the scary stuff You Tube shows for the term!

  • no worries :), I am going to give it a combination approach and hope I get the where i need to be :) Thanks again Toci

  • Hi again, I googled and a couple of sites mentioned to take the sample before you eat or drink or clean your teeth. Just rinse or gargle with water to prevent contamination.

    Best of luck

  • I will certainly heed the advice, thanks Knitter

  • Steaming is a great idea. Then

    Breathe right in and hold for three seconds

    Breathe slowly right out as far as you can go. put your hands on each side of your chest and push at the end of the breath so that it feels as though you are vibrating.

    Do this slowly and relaxed.

    do not cough at this stage.

    Repeat the breathing twice more

    then cough.

    Don't force it or you may hurt yourself.

    If you can cough something up all well and good.

    If nothing comes up repeat the process as many times as you need to. You should really be doing this every day to try to clear your lungs to prevent the bugs from multiplying.

    I do hope that this works for you.

  • Going to give the steaming salt over my head with a towel and using this coupled with still-standings breathing method. :) Thanks

  • good luck. Go steady and stop if it makes you feel dizzy.

  • A bit long, but well worth the time.

  • Thanks Happygrandad , I will watch it in instalments ...I like his presentations.

  • I did subscribe to their 'Webinars', but as I am in the UK and the Webinars start at about 7pm US Eastern Time that makes it 12 mid-night here, I found it easier to watch them a bit later on YouTube. All good stuff though.

  • Hi jayspurs, hope everything went well and your sample is on its way to be tested.

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