A little bit of help please

Hi my partner has been diagnosed with COPD he took a lung function test they said its very mild but his mum died 2yr ago from COPD so we know most of the things to do and not to do he coughs all day everyday he has what we call coughing fits where he just can't stop coughing and say out of 5 coughing fits 2 of them he passes out he's had different inhalers he's on a ventolin inhaler and also a duo resp spiramax 320mcg/9mcg the duo resp is supposed to last 12hrs he's to use it only twice a day morning and night he uses his ventolin through the day but Its not enough if he keeps passing out when he's coughing and while doing his lung function test it played up half way through I told the doctors that he needs another test because it is not mild at all he walks to the bus stop at the end of our street n he's puffing and panting he's only 42 any ideas anyone please my partner don't like using the Internet the only information the doctor gave my partner on copd was a NHS COPD site address

23 Replies

  • Take him a and e and tell them he keeps passing out all the time as what I can make out that the blood in his head is being forst to the brain and that is how he is why he is passing out so take him as soon as you can he needs to be checked proper

  • Welcome Fudgey, nice to meet you. It must be frightening for you partner to be dxd with copd when his mother died of it. It sounds to me that he needs more help than he is getting. It doesn't sound normal that he's passing out twice a day - have you told the doctor that? You don't say whether he is bringing up mucus when he coughs.

    Generally I don't think Ventolin is used as much as he is doing unless he has been told to because he is having a flare-up. Is it possible that he could have asthma? It does sound like his medication needs reviewing.

    I'd strongly suggest that you or he phone the BLF helpline - 3000 030 555 office hours - and speak to one of their nurses. They are helpful, friendly and very knowledgeable. Im sure there will be others along soon who may have other suggestions.

    Good luck to both of you.

  • He's always coughing up mucus we told the doctor she said it's just part of the illness x

  • He won't go to a&e he's got an appointment with the chest nurse this week so I'm going to ask her or see the doctor and tell them we want a second opinion he don't like making a fuss as he says it I tell him this is not making a fuss it's about him getting the right treatment he would walk in there and say I'm fine and walk back out if it was left to him he was told by his mum's chest doctor that he should ask the gp for a lung function test 3yrs ago when he had one of his coughing fits while taking his mum to the hospital he's always had a bad cough 15yrs we have been together he just says not many people see the way they are going to die xx

  • I wondered if he might be like that - the "Im fine" thing I mean. Yes ask for a second opinion, do call the BLF nurse - they will be very helpful in suggesting questions to ask when you both see the chest nurse. And when you are going to see any medics, write down what is happening and questions you have before you go.

    The reason i asked about mucus was that i was wondering if he currently has an infection which might explain what is happening, perhaps if the mucus was blocking the tiny airways which lead to the alveoli. Even so, when i've been full up of mucus and having coughing fits which would last up to an hour with my O2 plummeting, I never once passed out. As far as I know its not a feature of copd, or certainly not at the mild or moderate stage.

    If your partner has a smoking history, some doctors will automatically say mild copd and leave it at that but imo more investigations are needed. If you can't get what you need from this doctor you are entitled to see another, assuming that you're in a group practice. And if you aren't, change your doctor.

    Just remember, whatever your partner says, you aren't wasting the doctor's time. This needs attention asap.

  • Your husband definitely needs to see a specialist. There are hospitals that have lung units demand a referal. It doesn't seem he is getting the best advice from his present team

  • get some help-it could also be heart failure-kidney or liver.

  • That doesn't seem normal to me, passing out with mild copd! Are you going with him to the chest nurse? If you are make sure you go in with him ...if you can ...& tell her about these passing out episodes. Hope you get some answers & inhalers that will help him Fudgey xx

  • Yes I'm going with him last time we saw her she told us to ask for another lung function test but the doctor said he don't x

  • Hello my lovely sounds like your both having a rough time at the moment. I would really recommend A AN E, they will get him sorted out really quickly. Listing to what you say it sounds like a examination asthma attack he could also do with a nebuliser to use at home in 45 and have uncontrolled asthma that at one point said it was COPD HOPE THIS HELPS XX

  • Don't know if it would help him but l have Plc and have been given morphine for th cough and it as helped a great deal you can. Ask for nothing when you see chest nurse hope things improve for him

  • Have a look at a Cisca Salt Pipe. It is not expensive, no drug and it really works. Holland & Barratt have the plastic one £14.99 that lasts up to a year. Helps clear the lungs. He is far to young to be suffering like this. Have recommended so many people. I am Asthamatic, not the same as COPD but can be nasty. Not had to use my ventolin in the 2 years I have had a Salt Pipe. It is about 3 inches high, filled with natural Himalyan salt. You breathe in through your mouth and out through your nose. Simple and natural!

  • Your partner needs a LFT to determine whether he has asthma or COPD and if COPD, which stage does he have. Ask the doctor to order a LFT or refer you to someone who can get order a LFT.

    I was diagnosed almost 9 years ago with severe COPD. I have never passed out from coughing and I don't cough all that much.

  • Hrs had a lft that said he has copd the thing Is they sat COPD is not hereditary but 80% of his family some of them younger than he is and on full time oxygen he's had asthma since a child I have asthma but it's the cough he's been really ill today already his ankles have swollen got appointment with chest nurse tomorrow the doctor said mild COPD

  • He's already had a lung function test - did they do Xray and CT scan?

    Passing out is a result of not enough blood/oxygen getting to the brain - the body's naturally evolved reaction is to make you lie down (faint) so blood will flow there easier. It's common in the spirometry test on the long forced blow.

    The same situation is being created by his coughing - I suspect he doesn't get enough of a breath in? Coughing to the extent that you pass out is not a feature of copd.

    You could try the BLF helpline or, if you're in UK, phone 111 NHS Direct for advice.

    Don't leave it, do it now, please.

    Does he smoke?

  • Hi and welcome I understand your husband I have COPD and my mom died 3 years ago of COPD. If he is coughing up mucus what couloir is it does he have a infection if so he needs treatment asap.

    When you go back to the GP ask him to refer your husband on a PR course they will help with all sorts of things like panic attacks, I have them when I cough and when I get breathless I go light headed and pass out but for now if he smokes give up, take exercise gentle walks wearing a scarf around his mouth in the wind and try and eat healthy good luck

  • It's like a browny colour at the moment it's been like a white frothy colour before that hes been bad now the last few days he says it's like it's stuck in the bottom ofhis throat an he can't get it up x

  • He really does need to see a GP do you have a walk in clinic where you live or can you get the same day appointment with your GP, I would also get a sputum pot you can by them from the local chemist take in a sample the GP can send it away for testing

  • We have an appointment with the chest nurse tomorrow at our local surgery I will be telling her how he's been and I will call in the chemist and ask them for a pot in the morning as his appointment is in the afternoon x

  • My brother has passed out while coughing. His consultant said some people react like this to seretide he changed his meds & it's not happened since hope this helps

  • my husbands shortness of breath was a faulty aortic valve. Need to have him evaluated by a heart doctor.

  • See the doctor first. I have used Vinpocetine capsules to lessen my mucus production. I get them at a health food store and take as needed. The bottle says they are a memory enhancer but it also helps loosen my mucus. You could try.

  • He's got to have another lung function test next week they said for him to take 6 puffs of his inhaler before he has it done x

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