British Lung Foundation
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Need advice to on bronchiectasis

Hey everyone, first post here.

I have had mild bronchiectasis since I was around 16 (16 years ago) when I had pneumonia. Since then I have managed pretty well with just 15-20 postural drainage every night, and around 1 infection a year that clears up quickly with antibiotics. However this year has been quite bad. I got an infection back in March while away at a conference and it took me a few days to get antibiotics. This time they were not very effective, neither were the second course (higher dose, longer duration). I then went to my specialist who grew serratia from my sputum, and put me on a 30 course of antibiotic specific to that bug, then azithromycin 3 days a week after that to prevent flare ups. However ever since then (past 2 months or so) I feel like I've never made it back to being back to normal. If I don't do my drainage 3-4 times a day I start getting bad (green sputum etc) and now I have been waking up in the middle of the night with a tight chest and wheezing (feels like asthma, but never had before). This part seems to be getting worse and I've never experienced anything like it before. Albuterol helps for about an hour, then it returns. I'm worried that this is the new "normal" after the past few months of lung damage. I've got a specialist appointment on Monday so I hope he has a good plan for getting be better. Has anyone else experienced something similar?


4 Replies

Hi there Stezza, and welcome. It sounds as though you have a good knowledge of your condition and how to look after yoursef. You also seem to have been having very appropriate treatment. I have had bronch since I was 3, that was 63 years ago and I can empathise with all of your symptoms. Unfortunately bronch is a little boggart, it plays games. New bugs get in, further damage occurs and disrupts the pattern that we are used to. All of us react differently but one thing is for sure, we have to keep on top of it. It's a good thing that you are seeing your specialist. Do make sure to make him listen to your additional problems and hopefully he will investigate to find out if you have had damage to your airways or need a different inhalor to keep them open at night. Nightime breathlessness is not uncommon in bronch. Good luck, try not to worry as there will be some way to adjust your treatment.


I just looked at serratia. It is an anaerobic bacteria as opposed to the aerobic bacteria which usually colonise bronchs. I had a long spell of anaerobes and took a lot of metronidozole, the only ab that was available to fight anaerobes and a vile drug.Then I went on to azithromycin which is used against all sorts and a steroid inhaler to bring down inflammation. This seemed to sort it out. Unfortunately after five years on azithromycin it seemed to generally stop working on me and I had to stop taking it because of heart drugs. They haven't isolated any particular anaerobes since then but my main 'friend' is pseudomonas. Didn't I tell you it's a little boggart!


Hi there, it sounds you are just getting more symptoms as you get older, I have the same condition and find that the flutter device works well for clearing mucus.

Maybe they will suggest it when you go to your appointment.


There is another lady on here who has experiance of serratia and I am sure she will reply if she comes on site.



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